I am in pretty good space. I had a great trip to our UN-NGO office on my way to France for the International Center board meeting. and the planning for our international meeting went well.
You probably remember me talking about the quote from Ilia Delio from the LCWR last summer, be an open system, slow down- be compassionate and humble, and pay attention to strange attractors. Well I had two opportunities to pay attention to strange attractors on this trip...remember I am using my own definition of strange attractors not the physics meaning which is too complicated for me to want to pursue...anyhow I only slept about 5 hours on the plane so when I got on the train, I was going to sleep. A woman ahead of me got up to help me put my suitcase on the rack.. I had to take it right down because I forgot to get something out so she and I spoke and she asked me where I was from. I said St Louis. She then introduced the other people that she had acquanted herself with- quite the extrovert. Anyhow she introduced a young woman who is walking all the way on the St James Compostela trail from Le Puy on a pilgrimage so of course I had to talk with her about my 3 day hike on the Way with Mary Lou and Griselda last summer. Anyhow, I threw my other bag in the
seat next to the young woman,
Janneke from the Netherlands and began a long conversation. Sleep would have to wait.
Jenny and her husband Jackie were frequently in the conversation- Janneke was going all the
way to Le Puy and was staying in a hostel there. She was getting sicker and sicker with motion sickness. The bus from Firminy to Le
Puy nearly killed her. It became pretty obvious that she might be too late to get into the
hostel so I texted Line at the International Center to see if we could drop her
off from the bus stop...as the ride went on, I suggested that she was going to
be too sick to stay at the hostel and was welcome at the International Center. She agreed and was most
grateful. The funniest thing
was when we got to the IC, she was ok... as soon as she got out of the car she
was actually better. Our conversation about life and our discovery of our path was actually
pretty interesting. There were 3 other sisters at the IC and we all had a light meal and we
sent her on her way the next morning. I think we will be in touch with her as she walks all the way to
Santiago in Spain- so this was quite unexpected.
|Janneke with Sr. Jeanette|
| Jeanette, Janneke, Line, Sheryl and me|
Next day I am doing the filming of the sections I had to reshoot for the walking tour of Le Puy. I have just about finished and am in the garden of St Gabriel at the bottom of St Michael's. This woman, Rein, starts talking to me in English and we are talking about her world travels. She tells me the vaguest version of her life story but it is ultimately about this dream related to volcanoes and how unusual it is that she has ended up in Le Puy. She ended up her after leaving Brazil, USA and India...she is here to recover her health. I learned that the volcano in Le Puy is connected to the volcano in Iceland- the one that caused all the trouble with airplanes a few years ago. I tell her my sense of the presence of "mystery", the "unity of all things", that I connect with and feel when I am in Le Puy and have time to connect- the stuff I wrote in my blog last winter. So here I am sharing stuff that I don't often talk about with people who are complete strangers. Anyhow, I eventually say it is time to go and she walks me as far as the twisted bridge.
I don't know what to think about these two experiences...as I put them in context, I understand that previously, my life has been far too full of situations that sapped my time and energy. Travel time was a time to rest and regroup. So, maybe now I do have time for strangers and maybe they have something to teach me. I feel like I will be connecting with Jannecke each day as she walks her walk to Santiago and will think of Rein when I see pictures of St Michel.