This blog is a record of my observations, experiences and crazy thoughts about my 800 kilometer pilgrimage across northern Spain: the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (April-May 2009).
Monday, October 19, 2009
Delights on the Camino of Life
The beautiful castle at Ponferrada on a sunny spring day in May. There I was staring up at this beautiful castle and wishing I had a camera so I could share this amazing piece of history with my sweet spouse back in Santa Fe. I had come to terms, for the most part, with the fact that there would be no photos to record the last several hundred kilometres of my Camino - technology just failed me and I was trying to take it in stride. But as a woman who has long held romantic notions about castles, I was feeling a bit disappointed to not have just a snapshot of this beautiful fortress to post on my blog.
So, imagine my delight when a fellow pilgrim sauntered up to me and offered to take my photo. Always a little magic on the Camino. I hadn't seen Miguel in days and thought he was probably far ahead of me. My last view of him was from behind - he was wheeling away on a bicycle, yet there he was with his sweet, broad smile, aiming his camera at me and offering to document this moment for me.
We hugged and laughed and took the basic tourist photos of one another and then moved indoors to swap stories over large cups of latte. We ended up as walking companions for the day and shared dreams and secrets and laughed a lot as we walked westward toward Compostella.
I never saw the photos, but they were clear and bright inside my head. Then today, out of the blue, they arrived in the magical inbox of my laptop. What a delightful surprise.
I am grateful and filled with good memories. I am also filled with expectations for delights in the future - what delights are ahead on the Camino of life?
In April 2009, I began my 500-mile trek across the rocky paths and mountains of northen Spain. I finished my walk on the the ancient Way of St James (the Camino de Santiago de Compostela) in early June 2009.
I consider this a pilgrimage of gratitude. Each step was an opportunity to express gratitude for the abundance life offers; each footstep, one of finding joy. It was a humbling experience. It was a character-building experience. It was a spiritual adventure and a physical one too - who knew I was such a mountain goat? I hope you will enjoy my rambling, stream of consciousness obeservations of my experiences as a pilgrim on this historic pilgrimage route that really is only the begining.
Of course veteran pilgrims know: the Camino never ends - once a pilgrim, always a pilgrim. So, wherever YOUR path takes you, I wish you "Buen Camino".