Monday, 30 May 2016

It's a beautiful day ... (thanks Bono)

Touch me
Take me to that other place

I have finally made it to Santiago  - and yes I wept. 

(writing this backwards) ..

Arrival at the Praza do Obradoiro

Full of emotion, I am not sure what has driven that, whether it was a sense of accomplishment, a feeling that it has ended and I need to think about reality, seeing the joy of others as they arrived at the front of the cathedral.  Someone had shared to listen for the bagpipes, on the approach to the maybe this is what moved me.  I heard them playing as I was walking through the old town and new I was close.  As I approached it reminded me of a mix between Edinburgh and Petra in Jordan, walking towards the treasury through buildings like Edinburgh, I was touched by the amount of pilgrims, thanking each other, cuddling those they had not even met, taking photos, removing shoes and just pausing before they entered the tunnel to the Praza do Obradoiro.

The feeling was quite euphoric, on reflection, I have been on a calm high, (if there is such a thing) since last night.

I sat, I giggled, I cried, I saw new friends and strangers reactions, reactions as they entered, and was so happy for them, and so very moved by their expressions and what this has obviously meant to them.

I think, it will take a while for me to really understand what this moment meant.

The walk today

I started early, I wanted to walk alone, to spend time reflecting on my Camino so far, questioning I guess, maybe people have more expectations of what this would mean to me rather than what it has.  Has it meant anything? have I learnt anything? Did I need to? Did I want to?  I started off at 5.30 am, after only two hours sleep, after a long chat with a new friend, that also moved me, and made me think about a lot very differently.

So tired, after the lack of sleep, but actually start the day feeling wonderfully sated, from such a lovely night, and headed out ahead of the others.

I have an app that enables a random alarm .. and I woke to Beautiful Day (U2) .. I have never considered the lyrics so seriously before ...  they had such a wonderful meaning today, and I found myself reflecting on them all day.

This walk, felt the easiest of all the stages, even after the lack of sleep.  I stopped and washed with many pilgrims as tradition, in the river at Lavacolla, I felt very strange about this, and the chance to wash away everything wicked ;-) is that possible?

The walk from there felt hard … and I made my way to the ‘mount of joy’ (Monte del Gozo), 5km to go, where I took a break, and by coincidence.. as I took my shoes off, for a little rest, I could not believe I received texts at that precise moment from people I love, the phone call that followed for the next 2kms with folk who have the greatest bones, meant the world to me, as did a little sign, that reminded me of my new friend, and our marathon chat from the night before.

The night before

A wonderful night in a tiny hostel, with new friends, sharing memories and war stories, I seem to come out of it a lot better than most, 1 tiny blister probably my biggest concern, mind you my feet have been loved along the way.  Kurt and I plotted our Venice trip, only two nights, he has never been to Europe and Venice is on his bucket list, how could he not, and well who would not be happy to show someone new to Venice.

I wanted to walk today alone, to chat with many as I passed, but to also think about the last few days, hoping for an early night, and early start.  I had heard that Santiago is quite beautiful and so I want to spend as much time as possible there before Venice. Last night consisted of almost the same group from the night before, plus another couple from the States, we have passed each other many times over the last few days, but had never really spoken. I finished up chatting with others after mmm chorizo, bread, cheese, fish soup, fries, I seriously need vegetables and not just peppers.

After saying good night and good luck to others, I meet Jose, and we chat for hours ... generous, poetic, warm.. how do strangers enable thinking to be taken to another place?

It's a beautiful day ...

Buen Camino ..
Be brave, take risks, take a chance, trust, give yourself up
Charlotte – x