Welcome to our family blog!

We began in September 2010 by traveling a portion of the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage route that leads to the tomb of Saint James in Santiago, Galicia, in the northwestern corner of Spain. The name of our blog is inspired by the camino, and we'll have many stories (cuentos) to tell! We spent 2010-2011 on an intentional international journey, living and working in Spanish-speaking countries. Since then, we are immersed back in our lives at home but will report on occasional openings and discoveries. Please join us!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A short story by Conor

            This is a fictitious diary entry from the point of view of a monk at the castle Queribus, in France. The castle is at the top of a mountain, and was the refuge of a dissident group of the Catholic Church. I was amazed at the position of the castle, and I also enjoyed the view over the Lot Valley.

Queribus Castle 2010

December 8th, 1342

The harsh wind woke me up this morning, along with the steeple bell, just as dawn was beginning to break. I would have frozen to death had it not been for the fire smoldering in the corner, which licked at the wall as I went to sleep last night. I got off my small hard bed, and walked to the well, full of water from yesterday’s rain. I made my way into the dining hall, and sat down on the long bench. There were bowls of steaming hearty soup on the table, next to tough bread.  Other monks filed in behind me, and sat down on the bench. We ate in silence, as Brother Martin read us passages from the Holy Book. I enjoyed every warming drop of that soup, and prepared myself to make the trek down the mountain, into the town below. We were out of vegetables, and we couldn’t grow them in our monastery because of the harsh weather most of the year. Once I finished, I got my cloak, and left the castle.

The wind rustled the trees and bushes, and it sounded like whispers. The sun was up, although it wasn’t warming me at all. I wrapped my cloak around tighter, and enjoyed the brief feeling of warmth that brought. At the bottom of the hill, I looked at the distance I had just descended, and realized I needed to go back up, burdened by my purchases. On the way to the market, I walked along the cobblestone street and glanced at all the small houses with hay roofs. Their doors were shut tight to ward away the biting chill that had a way of sneaking through cracks. I arrived at the center square just in time, it was sheltered from the wind by the towering church. The market was open, although the only stands were shivering in the corner. I walked over, and looked over the measly leftovers of the harvest. I picked out all the vegetables that weren’t noticeably infested with bugs, which amounted to just enough. I walked back up the mountain, and brought the vegetables into the kitchen. I sat down to work on copying scripts, and they day melted fast, as it usually does when I become enchanted in my work. Dinner was more soup, which I enjoyed, tasting the vegetables that were the result of my labors. I fell asleep next to the fire, absorbing its caring warmth.


  1. What a great way of making us feel what the experience of being there allows you to imagine. Thanks so much for your terrific stories.

  2. Hi Conor
    Great images
    I can feel the winds again!!! BRRR

  3. Hola Conor,
    I can't think of a better way to experience the ancients places you're visiting than to imagine the lives of some of the people who inhabited them. I wish I had thought to do this when I first visited Europe as a teen. I can't wait to read your next piece.
    Buenas noche, Barbara