Friday, 23 August 2013

The eighth day

The eighth day has a huge resonance for many spiritual writers. It is the day out of time, or the day of the new creation. This is vividly illustrated by the magnificent baptistery at Florence which is octagonal. The newly baptized enter into a new reality. Paul puts it this way :"When you were baptized, you were baptized into the death of Christ so that you might have a share in His resurrection. ' He also speaks of a new creation. " This is easily accessible on the Chemin. Baptism ceases to be a moment in time but an invitation to a new relationship with God.
In many ways it was appropriate that the 8th day had Conques as it's destination. The day before from Espalion to Golinhac was very tiring and very hot. During the morning I walked along the Lot. In the intense heat of the afternoon there was a very amusing incident. I had booked a Gite named in the Cicerone guide as the' Hameau de Saint Jacques. On arrival at the village there were many Gites signed but not mine. I looked for someone to ask but everyone seemed to be having their siesta. I saw a Gite called Le Petit Saint Jacques. I followed the signs and arrived just behind two men that I had seen on the way. They were talking to the owner who broke off the conversation when he saw me: 'Vous etes le anglais' He said and led the three of us to a couple of rooms. I settled in and the older of the two introduced himself as being from Normandy. He also said that he was going to the shop in case I needed Anything . I went through the usual routines and then settled down to read the Psalms. I heard Frank return and, about an hour later the patron reappeared. His attitude had totally changed Apparently there was another Englishman who had now arrived, and I was in his room The patron stormed around berating me in English and French. He then stormed off . The two frenchmen could not have been more helpful and tried to phone the number of the Gite which I had on my sheet. The patron reappeared and said that he would charge me 10 Euro for using the shower and lying on the bed. I said that was fine and he said that he would wait for me in the house. When I was nearly finished the wife of the patron appeared and demanded the money. I wandered down to the campsite and enquired about the Hameau. It has not existed for more than 5 years, I was told. (So much for Cicerone! ) She did say that my reservation was with them and I was soon installed in the familiar dormitory. What is more there was wifi!  I was writing when Daniel appeared. I said that I was going to the Auberge in the centre of the village for supper. He said that he would join me and we had a delicious meal washed down with a bottle of Estaing wine. Daniel is from Burgundy as is justly proud of its wine but he declared that this wine was excellent. Since Daniel speaks no English we communicated in French. He shared some very personal experiences of his walk so far. 

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