Sabbath and the Necessity of Play

20130506-214724.jpg Yesterday was our day off. Sabbath. A day of no walking. No usual early morning clatter of bunk mates waking and packing up; preparing for a day's walk. Instead we slept in, read, had a leisurely breakfast, sat outside in a perfectly delightful European city you've never heard of called Leon. It was a warm day. Families, teenagers, and old couples alike all flooded into the city's many atmospheric squares to soak up the nice weather. A gentle breeze would occasionally sweep through, carrying the pleasant humidity of a distant storm.

More reading. Then naps. I sat in this little square sipping a cortado and thought about our trip so far. This day marked exactly halfway for us on the Camino. Two more weeks and we'll be in Santiago. How was the trip taking unexpected shapes? Was I finding what I'd hoped? What might I need to change? Embrace? Risk?

I ordered another coffee and sat a spell longer to ponder these things. I finished my book, and sat some more.

Later we all met up and talked over our week. As the sun faded we all kicked our newly bought soccer ball around, befriending a 7 year old Spanish girl in the process and breaking one pair of glasses. Despite this small tragedy there was a lot of laughter. As we played the trials and tensions of the week fell off us. Even pilgrims, maybe especially pilgrims, need to play as much as they need to pray.