Friday, July 7, 2017

Miracles and the Human Commedy on the Way to Conques

We walked out at eight AM.  It was going to be a 22 K day.
Reading Honore de Balzac we walked through the glorious fields and farms
of France, Balzac describing the people and their struggles, 
revolutionary ambitions, and conflicts.

We passed cows and bugs, a donkey that wailed, 
talked with Joques about the Red Cross and made our way. 

Everyone talks about the majesty of of the Abbey Church of Saint Foy, where we were going, but the stained glass in Senergues was striking. 
The monuments to dead of World War I were everywhere, a testament to the folly of man. 

And we walked, talking about names for cats, hopes, desires to get there.
We read about the miracles of the world that are only there if we are open to seeing them. 
Walking into Conques, Caroline told me that it wasn't the destination she was thinking about, the beer we would soon have in Conques, it was the beauty of the trip along the way that moved her, that would stay with her.  Its almost impossible to describe how beautiful, how majestic this small town and its abbey remain.

Finding our way to the church, sure enough Joques and Frank and our Australian comrades were in the town as we arrived, drinking and chatting, our city of friends converging for one more evening of conversation and stories about the road.  Everyone gradually made their way to our small accommodations for the night, where we ate and drank for hours, before wandering out to take in the night sky and the creek down the hill. 
The Camino is full of miracles, as is everyday life. 

We have two more days to talk.
Whitman reminds us...

By Walt Whitman 

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles, 
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, 
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, 
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water, 
Or stand under trees in the woods, 
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, 
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest, 
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, 
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon, 
Or animals feeding in the fields, 
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, 
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright, 
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring; 
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, 
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim-the rocks-the motion of the waves-the ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

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