My plan is not to post everyday. However, today has been so rich than I must write lest I forget all that has happened.
The day started much later than expected, I slept till 10am and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. With no plan for the day I choose just to wander. After a walk through the historic section of town I found myself back at the Grotto. The gates had just opened for those wishing to bathe in the healing waters. Given that this old body is going to need every bit of assistance it can get over the next 1,000 kilometers I jumped in line. This turned out to be an interesting affair. I’ll leave out the details and just say the the water was cold and it was the first time I’ve dressed after a bath wet as no towel was available. I’m very grateful not to be among the great number waiting in wheelchairs or gurneys.
I wandered on feeling a little damp and very blessed when I came upon a young lady, who I surmised had OI, and her mother en route to the Grotto. They were from Vienna and fortunately the daughter spoke some English so I could explain that my being here and my pilgrimage were being dedicated to raising awareness & funds for The Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. In the flush of the moment I failed to get her name. However I can report that she had the best laugh and we shared a few tears.
The initial requirement of beginning my Camino was to find the local office where I might obtain some info and most importantly my first Pilgrims stamp on the official credential I am required to carry. There were a couple of other Pilgrims there. I was told that the previous day they had their first ever pilgrim on horseback. I suspect he will help mark the trail making it easier for me to follow
All roads seem to lead back to the Grotto and cathedral so I explored the interior spaces for a bit. Back outside I again found myself on an unexpected path. This time on the quite hilly walk of the Stations of the Cross. It has been a very spiritual and moving day in many ways, I can not begin to explain. However, I’ve been experiencing frequent bouts of spontaneous crying.
Blessings to all from Lourdes 🙏