The plan for today was indeed a “Great Plan,” but it didn’t get off to a perfect start. On the agenda was praying a rosary with the Polish guys, meeting up with Blaise and Grace, and getting to spend time in one of the most interesting towns on the Camino – Pamplona.
It started off with a disappointment as our Polish friends never showed up at the bridge at 7:30 am. Disappointed, we trodded on at about 7:35. Leaving town we followed the beautiful path along the river through the valley.
When we cross over another bridge to stop for coffee, we discovered our foreign friends sharing a morning coffee and biscuit. They pointed to us and waited to take off until we finished as well. That is how it is on the Camino, it is this floating fellowship. Sometimes we will connect over and over and then they get off by a few hours from your schedule and you might never see them again.
Honestly, I love the randomness this creates and the opportunities that it creates for God to put people in and out of your life at just the right moment. Again the Camino creates a parallel with real life but in a compressed form. We all have chance meetings with other people such as neighbors, co-workers, people you meet at social functions, etc. In regular life, these encounters generally take their course over long periods of time, but every one of these folks is subject to an event in their life such as the loss of a job that could take them to a new place away from you.
In perfect diversity, God also provides our family that makes up the permanent structures in our life. Those folks that no matter what are connected to us with a different bond. On this Camino journey, those are the others that I brought with me. We will always be with each other in Spain (if not I will have some angry people waiting for me stateside).
At about 10:00 am we finished our Polish/English Rosary and said goodbye to our Polish Pals. We would not be seeing them again because their schedule dictated more kilometers per day than our plan. That is okay because I would trade them any day for the reunion that was about to happen in Pamplona.
As we neared the river we spotted the rest of our crew (Blaise and Grace) and crossed the bridge together to enter Pamplona.