As with every group I’ve brought on the Camino Santiago, the majority of the folks were just awesome.
And as always, this Camino group and I received our share of small kindnesses from the big-hearted, hospitable people of Spain.
Here are just a few I remember.
In Pamplona, the owner of Hotel Eslava offered me free breakfasts with our rooms. It was a nice surprise!
In SJPP, Pierre kindly held ALTUS ponchos for members of my group without asking for a deposit.
On the way to Orisson, I jokingly stuck out my thumb, and a car stopped and gave me a needed ride up a steep hill.
In Roncesvalles, the hospitalero saw how weary we were, and carried our bags upstairs. He also did a bed check for a worried pilgrim who thought she might have bedbugs in her bunk.
In Pamplona, a restaurant owner served a group of us during off hours just because we were hungry.
In Puente la Reina, the management patiently assisted one of my pilgrims who didn’t understand the key needed to be in the slot in order for the lights to work.
In Viana, our host José took one of my pilgrims to a physiotherapist after she had turned her ankle. He also offere to go buy medicine for my flu.
In Rabanal, Cristina, who was as sick as I, managed a nice family style dinner for our group.
In Molinaseca, Antonio arranged two wonderful places for us to stay when his staff made a mistake and double booked.
In Villafranca, I found 5 euros on the ground. Thanks Universe!
In Sarria, José, our host, made us wonderful homemade Sangria and bacon/cheese tapas.
In Portomarin, Carmen and Luís presented our group with a beautiful Tarta de Portomarin.
In Castañeda, Maria made sure everyone was comfortable and happy with their lodgings and loaned umbrellas for the walk to dinner.
In Pedrouzo, Maribel took a group of my pilgrims to dinner in her car because it was raining.
All of these people did these things out of their love and appreciation for the pilgrims.
When I feel depressed because someone was unkind, or treated me rudely, these are the thing I want to dwell on. These are the things I will hold in my heart, the small kindnesses that make life a joy.
It’s there, and you don’t even have to look for it.
As for the rest . . . I’m taking Alex Elle’s advice:
“Ignore people who threaten your joy.
Literally, ignore them.
Don’t invite any parts of them
Into your space.
Live Life Happy!”