Here in Spain.

The first few days on the Camino were long ones. We walked earnestly those mornings, with a steep ascent into the clouds.

I picked up a pine cone. Don’t think about the past, or the future …. just stay present in this moment. Look around you. Breathe. You are here in Spain.

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Sometimes Gary would say a word in Spanish, and I would recall the matching word in French.

“Perro.” “Chien.”

“Queso.” “Fromage.”

“Calabaza.” Hmmm, I don’t know the word for pumpkin. And so it went, back and forth, until we crested the mountains. There we found ancient ruins of the Galician Celts, and took in the view.

We met up with two delightful Scottish ladies. It was hot; we took shade at an old bus shelter. “Do you know Sean Connery?” Gary asked with a twinkle in his eye. We laughed; they bantered. And then onward into the hottest part of the day. And days.

I carried that pine cone for 38,000 steps. And then it fell out of my hand, somewhere in the woods, right after I learned the French word citrouille, and right before I turned the page and walked into the next chapter of my life.

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