For the longest time that late afternoon I thought I might be the only pilgrim at the albergue in Villamayor de Monjardin. Then after a bit of a long trek you walked in.
It was more a nonchalant saunter, actually. I liked you immediately.
As the placed filled up, it’s funny the two older guys chose the beds closest to the bathrooms. But we made our way on the camino with the best of them didn’t we friend?
It was a pleasure to meet you Phil. I wish we could’ve spent more time together, but alas, that’s how the camino goes, eh? I walked to the albergue where I thought we were to meet in Navarrette the following day, but I must have been mistaken. So we walked on separately, but I thought of you often. Still do.
I so enjoyed the conversation we shared that morning as Tanya walked ahead. We spoke of the things only guys our age understand in certain ways. Love. Loss. Heartbreak. Failures. Wounds. Higher callings. Higher powers. What life’s really about.
Thank you for asking me to tell my story and share my reasons for pilgrimage. I think you may have been the first person to do so.
But thank you even more for what you said (and did) and the conclusion of our walk that morning as you pressed on just before engaging a quicker pace. I’ll never forget your question.
“Would it be okay if I prayed for you along the camino?” You asked sincerely.
“It surely would. It would be nice to know someone’s doing that out here,” I replied.
Thank you for praying for me, Phil. It’s one of the nicest gestures anyone made toward me in those 40 days.
When we met, I quickly assessed you as honest and real, genuine and unmasked. I knew you were on a search for something just as I was also.
I pray you found it and carry it with you today.
Blessings to you my UK friend across the way. You’re one of the good guys.
Wishing you a buen camino today and through life,