Welcome to Kfs Stories blog. This offering of a Story Starter is inspired by my anticipated return to the great Camino pilgrimage track which snakes its way across the north of Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The Story Starter is designed to offer an idea to inspire the writing of a love story. Take and use this Starter as you will. If the muse in you is moved I would love to hear how your story of Claire and Jean-Luc unfolds. If you like the Story Starter I’d also love to hear your comments.
St Jean Pied de Porte!
At last Jean-Luc had arrived at the village of St Jean Pied de Port at the base of the Pyrenees on the French side of the border. Jean-Luc whose family home was in Zurich, Switzerland, was on vacation from University where he had been studying architecture for the past three years. During this time he had also taken a couple of subjects in history and spirituality. It was because of these subjects that he was now in St Jean Pied de Port. He had read about the great pilgrimage tracks of Europe, and particularly he had been drawn to the Frances Way known as the Camino. Many pilgrims walked this track every year. Often they started their walk at St Jean Pied de Porte, crossed the Pyrenees into Spain and walked seven hundred and sixty kilometres to Santiago de Compostela, the reputed burial place of St James.
Jean-Luc made his way to the Pilgrim’s Information Centre. He was really excited. His dream was about to begin to come true – to walk this pilgrimage on his own. He hoped to deepen his spiritual life as he journeyed. As he stepped into the Information Centre he met a young woman coming out. They smiled and both said, “Bonsoir.”
One of the attendants in the Information Centre welcomed Jean-Luc and presented him with his official ‘credencial’ – his passport – for his pilgrimage. Jean-Luc was delighted he now had the first stamp in his passport. The pilgrimage had begun! He also asked to be referred to a pilgrimage hostel for the night.
Later, as he settled into the hostel, he found himself again face-to-face with the young woman who had said “Bonsoir” to him. He said to her , “I’m Jean-Luc. I think we almost met at the Pilgrim’s Centre.” She smiled at him, and offered her hand, “Hi, I’m Claire.”
Throughout the evening they shared in the community meal at the hostel, and everyone chatted about where they came from, and why they were walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. Claire and Jean-Luc seemed drawn to each other. They were about the same age, both students, and both desirous of walking the Camino for spiritual refreshment and insights. They continued to talk long after the other pilgrims had gone to bed. There was a bubble of excitement in their interaction.
Finally as they prepared to go to their beds, Jean-Luc tentatively said, “Would you like to walk with me tomorrow?”