Two little things happened today, that tell me something has shifted.
And perhaps, for good.
I wanted to get an ice-cream. A gelato. Lemon and chocolate in a cone. My favourite.
I'm in a small town in northern Portugal – Braga – famous for its extraordinary church a few kms out of town, the Bom do Jesus.
But this morning I was in town, and so I went up to this ice cream stand. The lass serving was talking to a customer, who'd already got her cone and was now gas-bagging.
She went on and on and on and on.
She could see I was waiting, but still she went on and on and on and on.
The lass serving also knew that I was waiting, and wanted to extricate herself from the conversation but didn't want to be rude.
Pre-Camino, I would have done either one of two things: I would have glared at the gas-bagger and said in a loudish voice – Hey, send her a text!
Or I would have cleared my throat and said to the serving lass in an ever-so polite voice: Excuse me miss? I am just dying for one of your delicious ice creams. Would you mind serving me when you're done there?
Or words to that effect.
Post-Camino, I was patient. And I started to examine the situation. The lass serving was obviously anxious to do her job and attend to me, and yet she didn't wish to offend her friend.
This I felt was an admirable trait in her.
And I started to think that it's moments like these that define people. It's the little moments. Her allowing the conversation to come to a natural conclusion said heaps about her, and me not losing it said heaps about the Camino!
When the serving lass finally turned to me, she had a big apologetic smile, and she gave me huge scoops of lemon and chocolate, in my mind, to compensate the waiting time, and to thank me for being patient.
Pre-Camino, I was impatient. Everything had to be done NOW. I hated waiting for anything. I'd stamp my foot and purse my lips. And sometimes I'd even frown, sternly.
But the Camino teaches you patience.
There's no status on the Camino. No Platinum Frequent Walkers Card that gets you to a bunk in front of anyone else. No Personal Assistants to do your chores, so that you, the Exalted One, the Important One, has free time to change the course of The World.
Meals come when they're served. Your washing, that YOU do, takes so long to dry. If an albergue doesn't open its doors until 2pm, then you wait. In line. Like everyone else.
So today, I waited.
And I felt good about that.
The second thing that happened today was – I went out to do some grocery shopping for dinner. I walked about 2kms to the supermarket. While I was there, I reached into my bag for my iPad, and I couldn't find it.
I always carry my iPad with me.
I thought back, and tried to remember when I last had it. It HAD to be in my hotel room. So I slowly, and without any panic or sense of dread, walked back to the hotel.
(My knee is still cactus by the way.)
I calmly opened up the door to the room, and looked around. No iPad. Still, I didn't panic. There's no such thing as loss in the Universe, I said to myself.
I took another look around the room, and there it was, on the window shelf. I'd left it there while drying my undies, which weigh 75 gms by the way.
Pre-Camino, I would have rushed back to the room in a panic.
Post-Camino, I couldn't care less.
So I lose my iPad – so what?
These are just two little things that happened to me today, which tell me that there are big changes happening under the hood.
(Pic below is of Bom do Jesus, Braga, Portugal.)