Guardian of my soul, guide me on the way this day. Keep me safe from harm. Deepen my relationship with You, Your Earth, and all Your family. Strengthen Your love within me that I may be a presence of Your peace in our world. Amen
-Tom Pfeffer and Joyce Rupp (shared with me by Annette Krause)
Interested in seeing my “tracks”? Click on “Where’s Kathy” in the upper right corner and then scroll down to the body of my blog for a link to a map that is tracking me!
Got settled in my hotel last night. Joseph, the owner, said the house closes during the day from 8:30-3. This morning I joined my housemates for breakfast. I felt very insecure. My table was full of pilgrims from France. The other table had one Italian girl named Sophia and a German girl named Anna I think. Sophia and Anna were friendly and I chatted with them a short bit. Out I went this morning into SJPP at the foot of the Pyrenees. Breathtakingly beautiful.
First stop was the pilgrim’s office. Then toured the Citidel and walked the streets watching people and looking around. I chatted with two Australians and met two Americans at a little shop. Linda from Cincinnati and Mary from Kansas City. Linda was so nervous she had broken out in hives on her torso. I ran into them again as they were just heading out under the clock tower and onto the Camino. We hoped to run into each other again. When I first headed out this morning at 8:30, SJPP was still asleep and not much was opened. At 11:00 it became more active. I found myself in a beautiful church and lit a candle and said a prayer for my journey. The church gives me peace.
This afternoon I parked myself on a bench near the Pilgrims’ office and struck up a conversation with a young woman- Bettina from Denmark, endocrinologist. Met Keith from Canada, who mentioned dreading to hear what the “T word” is up to each morning. I let it go but he continued to bring up the issue mentioning an American he met last year who was in tears over the election. I asked him if he had heard the Saudi Arabia speech Trump gave or his speech in Israel. He said no. Imagine that- bashing our president but not even taking the time to hear what he is actually saying. Why do people of other countries bash our president? I would never bash their leaders in their presence. I told him they were fantastic speeches. I also met Michael from Berlin, and three individuals from Ireland. One of the Irish had orange hair and an orange backpack. He said he also had an orange hat and orange glasses- all by chance. Found out Bettina was staying at the same place I am! Wow. She, Keith and Michael are all walking to Roncesvalles their first day instead of stopping in Orrison. The Irish couple, George and Kay, are going to Orrison- I will see them tomorrow.
Dinner brought me to a little cafe up the street from my lodging. As I was sitting there, I saw Bettina coming down the street toward the cafe. Coincidence? She joined me for dinner. Bettina was put on my Camino for some reason. I think her lesson to me is it is ok to sit for long periods of time with someone and not say anything at all. I experienced that with her a lot today. If you don’t have anything to say, say nothing at all!