I think it started about two or three weeks into this Camino. And at first, I didn’t quite get the point. We were probably trying to check out of a hotel, or getting our gear together, or leaving a cafe after lunch, or something like that. It was certainly a situation where Pat was keen to get on the road.
She looked at me and said, “Come on Norma, come on.” I looked at her and wondered what the heck she meant. And then of course the thought dropped. My mother, Norma, was one of those people who would chat to absolutely anybody!
She could hold a conversation on the front doorstep of the house, at a bus stop, in a queue at the checkout, absolutely anywhere. I hadn’t quite realised until Pat pointed it out that I have inherited my mother’s trait. It became a bit of a joke after that. Anytime that I would stop on a hill to chat to someone or on our way into or a cafe, Pat would be saying, “Come on Norma, get the coffees ordered,” or “Come on Norma, we’ve got a hill to climb.” I think if I was to inherit any of my mother’s traits, that’s a pretty good one to inherit.
P.S. For anyone who is walking a Camino alone particularly a long one, when you start to feel lonely, here’s is a tip. And at times, you will feel lonely. It is very, very easy to strike up a conversation with other pilgrims. Just merely ask where they’re walking to today, where they’ve walked from. In a cafe ask, “What’s that you’re eating? Is it good?” And you’ll soon be chatting away and the loneliness will disappear.