Hola, amigos. We just returned to Santiago from Finisterre and now I have many days to explore before leaving for home . . .
The last sentence is left unfinished, as there is much to do and see. It’s a pause, a reminder to slow down, see the details of centuries-old architecture, walk on cobblestones laid so long ago. Sit under ancient trees, observe the ever-flowing rivers make their way to the ocean, listen to waves crashing and birds calling.
And one more thank you to mi Amiga, Marylee. Buen Camino.
A visit to Santiago’s modern and architecturally stunning Museum of Peregrinos, with its comprehensive displays and history of world pilgrimage and the Camino, provided us with a wide-angle view of Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
Where is our place on this planet, in our universe? What does the history of pilgrimage mean in our lives and to humanity? How do we reconcile St. James with an open hand and St. James with a sword, as I wrote in my poem, “Walking the Way to Santiago” as a question. The metaphor of human history?
As I have walked into Santiago de Compostela, now I watch other Pilgrims walk into Praza do Obradoiro or in the winding calles of Santiago or in lines for mass and imagine their stories, how alike and different each of us.
Our stories, why we walked, how we walked, which Camino, where we started, distances, celebrations and disappointments, injuries, unfinished journeys, surprises, friendships, remain singularly our own.
The Camino is more than numbers.
After saying goodbye to my Camino Amiga, I walked around feeling more like a tourist, as by now most of my walking amigas have moved on.
But Marylee introduced me to many of her new friends, including two Camino Angels, who made sure I had a room tonight. (It’s a long story). I don’t know how to repay, except pay it forward.
Gratitude and kindness, two sides of the same coin. My heart is full. I spent the last two days sharing Caminos, tapas, ice cream, laughter and tears with two generous and amazing Peregrinas from Florida, Cheryl and Karen.
Kindness. Gracias y Buen Camino, dear friends.
I’m thinking about one more walk before I leave Galicia. Waiting until Friday and predicted dry weather and sunshine. I’m not in charge, but there’s hope.
I’ve finally developed my rhythm, walking within my own physical limits. It’s easier and safer.
At least that’s my experience, on and off the path. Those are messages and metaphors that I’m learning are part of the life story I’m still writing.
What story are you writing?
From Santiago de Compostela, and more walking to come.