There are two sayings in French…ok, definitely a lot more than just two sayings, but I’m just contemplating these two…
Now you might think that the first saying means to be brave and the second to have heart, and you would be incorrect.
The French in their linguistic logic have the opposite meaning for those two phrases. In fact avoir courage carries a connotation of having fortitude, the wherewithal to keep going.
I’ve been thinking a lot about courage and being brave. This is the eve of the beginning of the Camino. For the past week I’ve been waking up with an upset stomach just thinking about this day. I know these are butterflies of fear and I am afraid of this mysterious walk that lies ahead.
Today we are in Bayonne, France and we leave in an hour and a half for St. Jean Pied de Port the departure point for the Camino Frances. We had lunch in the park, a sandwich made with Bayonne ham and a bottle of cider. I struck up a conversation with the woman next to us who was out for a walk with her dog. I love dogs and can’t help myself when I get the chance to pet one. Ok, plus I’m talkative 😉
During our chat she asked if we were on vacation and I told her we were on our way to walk the Camino. As we parted she waved and said, “Bon Courage!” For a moment fear grabbed ahold of me but then I remembered she was wishing me the will, the heart to carry on. And that has been the crux of my fear. Can I carry on?
Truthfully the answer is neither I nor anyone else knows if I’ll have the heart to persevere. But I do know this, I will face that fear tomorrow and probably every day on the Camino. And that’s ok because it’s not brave to do something you’re not afraid of.
The mountains in the distance is where we will be tomorrow.
My sign-in at the Pilgrim’s Information Center. It looks shaky because the pen wasn’t very good.