At breakfast I sat with three English-speaking adults: Greg from Portland (OR), whom I met at the albergue in El Burgo Ranero; Marie, a mother of two and grandmother of five from Dieppe, New Brunswick; and "Rick," a very successful Harvard MBA now based in San Francisco who has called Boston and Zurich home and originally hails from Brooklyn.
Then the morning passed and I took a seat at the same café facing the cathedral. Greg and Marie passed by without stopping, while Rick finally, almost apologetically, asked if he could sit with me again. We passed a companionable hour, he writing in his journal, I drawing a ridiculously amateurish cathedral in mine, one that nevertheless retains a certain mysterious integrity.
And I told Rick that he had said something at breakfast that stuck with me, as it still does now.
We were talking about the remarkable coincidences of the Camino, the things that happen that make you think, like my uncanny meeting with Nacho yesterday. At breakfast, Rick had said that these were mysteries, pure and simple, and that it was not necessary to understand mysteries or attribute them to anything. I heard in this statement something quite common here on the Camino: a desire to leave God or anything higher out of the equation. Life is a mystery. What else do I need to know?
But all morning I wondered: What is a mystery novel without a solution? It is an unthinkable tease. What is a question without an answer? A torment. What is a code without a key? Gibberish. And the world, to my eye and to my heart, is neither tease nor torment, and it certainly isn't gibberish. This world must mean something.
The mystery must have a solution, the question an answer, the code a key. And not to seek these answers is to be less than human. The heart desires an answer, and yet we sit silently by, allowing the code to remain uncracked.
That's the condition of so many people today, and it is the reason I choose to believe in God.
If you're not following Mr. Bull as he travels The Way, you're missing out.
Honestly, you are.