One of my favorite memories of walking the Camino de Santiago is the fragrance. There is pine, rosemary, lavendar, eucalyptus, sage, and acres of freshly mown grass. This afternoon, walking between the two small towns on either side of The Abbey, I was reminded of that glorious fragrance. Not pine today, not eucalptus, but a blend of rosemary and lavendar that was the perfect complement to the heavenly scent of grass cut along the roadside.
There are wild roses growing in the garden now. They climb up the wall or stand alone and they are splendid reminders of how resilient these flowers are. Typically tended and cared for in formal gardens, they stand here as if they owned the place and the fragrance of one is stunning, the fragrance of the other, non-existent. There’s no practical reason why, and the flowers are lovely all the same.
Wild flowers fill the fields now in displays of purple, yellow, white, and abundant green. It can be a challenge – when you really want a nice green lawn – to have all of these flowers showing up without an invitation. But to me? With my camera? It’s hardly a challenge, but rather an opportunity to get some nice evocative shots of these beauties.
There are some sweet new fruit trees planted now at one end of the field across from the church and you can see right away that in practically no time, this will be the perfect spot to put some lounge chairs and hammocks to offer pilgrims a short respite from walking. And Just look at the garden – strawberries, onions, and potatoes.
Today, two Korean pilgrims walked by and ended up staying the day, overnight in the next town, and back to The Abbey tomorrow – just to help. Two English pilgrims stopped later, walking not west to Galicia, but east on their way to Rome and Jerusalem. They vowed to return in a few months’ time – just to help.
After all, it’s what we pilgrims do, isn’t it?
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