We did our best to avoid expectations based upon a comparison of this Camino to our 2013 Camino. Nevertheless, we have been feeling a silent disappointment that the deep friendships formed in 2013 seemed to be missing from this pilgrimage…. until today.
Before today we had speculated that not staying in more Albergues might be the reason, or… the weather… or the route…
What we failed to consider is that it takes time for relationships to form, interconnect, and then coalesce into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. It was so in 2013, and that became apparent to us today, 11 days into the Camino. The difference is not when the relationships crystallized, but that we still had over 20 days ahead of us in 2013, whereas in 2018 we are just 50 km from Santiago after 11 days on this journey.
The day began cold and overcast with a threat of rain. Soon the sky began to clear and as if on cue, a “family” formed from the random Perigrinos who had stopped at a rural cafe. Everyone seemed to know someone who knew someone… until a degree of separation connected everyone on this Camino. It was a sudden and very moving experience!
A random comment to us from a Canadian couple turned into a nonstop conversation that seemed to transport us across 10 kilometers in the blink of an eye. Tom and Nanci were our doppelgängers from Ottawa. Each topic revealed a new thing or experience that we had in common. It was uncanny.
We joined them, along with Irene from Switzerland, for dinner this evening. We will be staying at the same Casa Rural the night before we enter Santiago and we look forward to more time together with them.
The lesson continues to be that there can be no disappointments if there are no expectations. Additionally, focusing on expectations may prevent one from appreciating the unexpected.
The weather report for Santiago tomorrow is a low temperature of 3c (30’s Fahrenheit) with a threat of snow flurries! The relationship report is sunny, warm, and not a cloud in sight.
Peace Everyone! Pete