I Promise I Won’t Bite

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If all insects, reptiles, mammals, all of god’s creatures, took the sworn oath, “I promise I won’t bite” we would surely experience utopia here on earth.

In fact, I am sure the beastly spider that bit me Sunday evening had taken the oath but then fell into sin and went against its word.

If hospitalera’s entering into service take the oath, why not all of god’s creatures along the way?  Or, was I the only one that got the memo?

So yes I am having a hissy fit, I am being dramatic but what the hell when I’m an unwilling blood donor to the Arachnid species with side effects.  Bladdy hell I can throw as many hissy fits as I like!  And yes, I do know, nobody got the memo that I’m giving an Oscar winning performance but when a tree falls in a forest with no observers it has still fallen!

“And I’d like to thank my mother and my father and that little Arachnid one Sunday evening….”

So yes, most likely an itsy bitsy teeny-weeny Spanish speaking spider had me feeling like crap.  Experiencing shooting pains down my leg, extreme nausea, fever like symptoms, and a headache.  At the best of times, I don’t do personal disease too well and certainly not in a foreign country with creature comforts.

When I left the doctor’s office, I felt frustrated and irritated, as with limited Spanish I couldn’t understand how a topical cream would help my internal body.

I sat on a bench outside the doctor’s office and was approached by a geriatric pervert.  I did not know that he was one until he started squeezing my arms and touching my breasts.

I have turned into quite a fly murderer since I’ve been at San Anton and spent a good few moments swatting away his wondering hands and bellowing NO SEÑOR!  I remembered that last year this pervert also molested my friend Donna and I was determined to send him packing.  Little did he know that I can change my body language to super evil bitch in milliseconds and he soon scampered away from me.

Feeling ill and grumpy, I drove back to San Anton.  Pilgrims along the way simply irritated the crap out of me.  I was unamused by the gangs walking spread out across the road all immersed in their mobiles or the cyclists that encroached onto my side of the road.

I realised that continued grumpiness coupled with illness was not going to bring me happiness or make me a blessing to the pilgrims passing by.  I decided to call upon the healing powers of San Anton, to speak to my body and bring healing energy into the parts that felt less than optimal.

I know that when I am suffering and miserable others are probably experiencing worse things than I am.  I decided to peel some fresh oranges, sit outside, and offer some refreshments to pilgrims as they passed.

I was amazed at how many people “had no time” or “didn’t like oranges” or simply needed to “move on.”  Many treated me with suspicion as if I would bite and I felt like erecting a sign saying, “I promise I won’t bite.”

For those that took the time to stop and grab a fresh piece of orange we had wonderful moments of connection.  A Dutch couple asked me why I was doing this and I confessed that I was feeling miserable and realised that there were others suffering more than me.  Being very narcissistic with my suffering is quite boring and serving others reminds me that all is well and I am blessed, even if I want to have a hissy fit of drama.

It did not matter that pilgrims were rushing by or weighted down by their burdens, I just needed to be there to give those that wanted slices of oranges.

Not all of the oranges were eaten on the road.  I gave the last pieces to a delightful Italian couple that stopped in at San Anton.  We shared a few moments of broken conversation and then they continued on their way.

Today I am once again sitting on the road handing out oranges.  Again, the pilgrims are doing what pilgrims do, rushing, ambling, suffering, chatting, free-wheeling.  I’ve had powerful and loving conversations with Andrea from North Carolina, Lee from Taiwan, Hungarian, German, French, and Austrian women.  Nicola a South African living in Qatar has just shared my water, chair, and oranges and it was a pure delight of sharing home-grown humour and Camino love.

On the days when I feel grumpy, ill or out of sorts it is wonderful to remember that the choice not to bite back is my pathway to happiness and joy.

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Rebekah - 5 years ago

I am always amazed at how the pilgrims have changed over the last 5 or 6 years. They do not stop, they do not talk, they do not “hang out,” they don’t even accept a slice of orange. It’s “THEIR” camino, and God help anyone who steps into that!

They are suspicious, self-absorbed, or just too into whatever they’re into. Blessed are the few who still are connected to the path they are walking, and the people sitting along the edge, offering kindness.

I tell myself they’re still not even halfway, that they’ll get their heads out of their ….. eventually! Or at least before they get to where I am! Keep up the good work. And a big Thank-You to San Anton!

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