Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Friday, June 14, 2013

The (Un)importance of a Chair

It is bedbug season, pure and simple, and the little buggers crawl from bed to bed on the floor. They do not fly. Often they will hitchhike on an unsuspecting pilgrim's mochilla. And so, I never ever leave my pack on the floor. It's on a chair or hanging up. 

I arrived early today at Acebo - there were only three other pilgrims in the dorm. I had my choice of beds and as always, I found a chair to place my backpack on. I unpacked.  I did my laundry. I got a shower. Then I went to the bar to have dinner, secure that my own little piece of peregrina world was safe. 

Imagine my horror when I returned to the dorm to find another pilgrim's pack on my chair and MY pack on the floor!  Hello?!  Who would do such a thing!

There are rules on the Camino. Unspoken perhaps, but common sense rules. And one if those is that a person's backpack is sacred. After all, it is nothing less than their home for the weeks they are walking the Way. Everything of value is in that pack. You don't touch, or move someone else's house!

This late-arriving lady proceeded to tell me that the owner had told her the chairs were for the people in the top bunk. After all, she explained, how was she to get to her top bunk?  Oh really?  Well, what ever happened to politely asking?  I would have happily helped her find a chair. And there is a ladder on the back if the bunk bed.   Oh man, was I conflicted. 

Conflicted mostly because I have met her before on the Camino and she seems to be a very nice person. Maybe she is just tired and forgetting her manners.  Or maybe she feels privileged. Or maybe... I mean, who knows?

Anyway, I took a deep breath. Then I read a chapter of Just One Thing and Practicing the Power of Now and it helped. 

JOT told me to 'Be Generous,' so I went down to the bar and asked for another chair and in my mind I 'gave' her my chair. The chair I had dragged over from the other side of the room. 

PON said to remember that 'In this moment I am alright.'

And I am. 

But this has been an 'interesting' Camino, as my Welshie friend Jodye would say. 'Very interesting!'

I can see how territorial wars get started. 
But then it was, after all, just a chair. 


  1. and a bed bug protector - "don't touch my mochilla!" Wonder how you'd feel now if you'd yelled that ?

  2. "territorial wars" ... kind of appropriate for the moment.

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  4. Next year when we walk our Camino with you, we will cushion you from chair stealing room mates. Peace and happiness for your upcoming days.


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