Sunday, April 21, 2019

Pilgrimage Notes and the Yellow Arrows Project (Part 4)

Part 1
Part 2
Continued from Part 3
Day three of my pilgrimage walk dawned.  Today I would be walking 20.4 km from Masson to Thurso, Quebec.  My walking group was made up of people who had very different approaches to their pilgrimage journey. Young Nathaniel left first, very kindly carrying my mosaic supplies with him - to help lighten my load. His goal was to complete the walk as quickly as possible, at a 6 km per hour pace.  He reached our next overnight destination, l'église St-Jean-l'Évangeliste, by 10 am that morning.  Isabelle and her friend left next, following the high level instructions on their phones, they wanted to walk quickly - and in doing so - missed the notes about the rest stop à la ferme Val-Champs.
It was nice that my other fellow pilgrim Jacques and I were on the same wavelength - we were not in a rush and were open to experience whatever drew our attention along the way. We arrived at our destination around 6 pm that day. Following are some of the highlights from along the way...
We see a Canada Goose and white goose swimming together.
  • We see a Canada Goose and white goose hanging around together and dub them "the odd couple" 
  • While walking through Buckingham - we are accompanied by three women on their way to the gym - they wish us a "beun Camino" 
    The yellow arrow marks the way to the rest stop at the Val-Champs Farm.
  • We had a very special rest stop at the Val-Champs Farm. Our hostess served us a strawberry drink, tea, hard-boiled eggs and chocolate and we rested for an hour or two. We played with her silver tabby kitten. And chatted about living simply and fully and enjoying retirement. We really enjoyed the "deep dot of time" that day. A true pilgrim experience!
    We enjoy a special cider tasting at an artisinal Ciderie.
  • We stopped at the Scottish cemetery, went to see if the Violin teacher was at home and went to Verger Croque Pomme for a cider tasting.
Sadly my right ankle started to bother me through the night and by the next morning I was hobbling and with great difficulty decided to stop walking. I had an inflamed tendon and needed to rest and do physio for it to get better and stronger. My first reaction was sheer disappointment, while I was told to have no expectations going on this long walk, I found that I had expected to finish it and get to Montreal.

I went through a period of feeling very sorry for myself. Then I had an epiphany! I would still honor the rest of the time that I would have been walking and stay on pilgrimage. I could use this time in my studio to finished the yellow mosaic arrows that I had been carrying with me. I joyfully began puttering in my studio. And as I calmed down and started to create a wonderful idea occurred to me. I would head out on a journey and visit some places and people I had wanted to get to on my journey. And I would deliver finished yellow mosaic arrows along the way, especially to my fellow walkers.

In hindsight - this day gave me the sense of closure that I needed - to let go of any expectations I might have had - and to truly appreciate every aspect of my pilgrimage experience.
I would deliver finished yellow Camino mosaic arrows to my fellow walkers.
I walk the grass labyrinth at the Ashram near Montebello. I am filled with peace at the beauty I find there.

I leave a gift for my fellow walkers at the door of their residence at the Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes in Rigaud.

My fellow walkers with their Camino mosaic arrows at the end of their walk. They send me a message to let me know that I was with them in spirit every step of the way!

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