This day dawns bright with promise -sunrise later now as winter is approaching.This morning is very still and bird call,specifically cockie call, less .Now that we have pulled out the sunflowers which have reached their end.I miss the mass of sunflowers that used to face me as I sat in the back garden at this time of the morning :when day has just dawned and the sky is a pale pink mixed with streaks of orange and red ,the moon a slight shape as the sun comes up over the horizon .

Sometimes there were 40 or so cockies ,perched precariously on the top of long stalks swaying with the slight breeze, seeds in hand, calling to their mates to come and enjoy this sunflower paradise.When I walked outside the gate for my morning walk I watched them striding over the road into Burford Place,picking up scattered seeds, chests puffed out and full of noisy self-satisfaction .They don’t move out of my way .

Today I am up later ,and there are only a few bedraggled looking sunflowers we haven’t got to yet and fewer cockies.There is less bird call as the day heats up, and no cockie army patrolling my street.

Corona virus time.Its hard to believe that its with us,and for the foreseeable future.”Maybe,just maybe it will go away early “a secret voice whispers within me.Maybe just maybe it won’t get to my town,my community,my neighbours ,my friends, my family.Its “out there .”

And then I see those lovely Spanish villagers ,the people in bars along the various caminos ,the old people who came out of their houses to talk ,or just walked towards us in the street to enquire how we were and wish us well , the friends we made along the Ways- the Rays and Rosas ,the,Carmens and Marias and Angelas,the Joses and Antonios(the many strangers and hospitalarios who guided us to albergues,,provided shelter and food,shared their celebrations and dancing, pointed out the Way, showed us special treasures.

I can describe the caves in ,where the hospitalario took us to his cave.He took us deeper into the wine making part and we poured wine from the old caskets by torchlight.Then they provided ensalada and queso with freshly made bread and we sat in the cave drinking the wine,eatingand talking.I still recall the taste of that food and wine ,and the lights flickering on the walls of the cave.Magic.No expectation of return,pure generosity and caring,and a desire to show us their treasures.Small wonders within a sometimes muted universe.Their wonders lit up our lives, and the light is with me still.Gracias por todo, mis amigos Espanoles .

So I think of those people especially ,and the CV can no longer be “out there”

those individuals and the interactions and experiences belong with me now: “Ve con Dios” the old people said to me on my first camino 14 years ago as I trudged through their tiny pueblos.Then as I smiled they clasped their hands together,made the sign of the cross with a “Rezo por mi en Santiago “

I am praying for you here, now .