After walking over 800k (500 miles) in 56 days from France to Spain, I fell apart when I walked up to the beautiful Santiago Cathedral.
This 68-year-old was broken, psychically. My one year of training in Thailand did pay off; I would have never had made it without it. However, my decision to walk with almost no money for food had its consequences. That said; I would have not changed one thing about my walk. I had to go through the pain to learn how to choose to be at peace!
THIS WAS THE MOMENT…. I TOOK MY FINAL STEP!
56 days of being hungry ….
Not just for food, but for what has been missing in my life!
When I arrived in Santiago, it was Spain’s annual celebration of St. James day. Thousands of people surrounded the Cathedral, including many volunteers from the Jesuits. They were looking for tired pilgrims like me. I did not want to talk (very unusual for me) a young man invited me into the church for a special prayer service for Pilgrims. I said “yes.”
My journey created laughter and tears;
a growling stomach took me to places I have never been,
I now know what it’s like to go to bed hungry!
Upon entering this spectacular historic structure, he escorted me to a chapel. The room was filled with an energy saying, “We understand.”
There was a girl playing a guitar, and it added serenity to the room. No words were being spoken, four pilgrims and I were reflecting on our journey and the many lessons that were learned. We were all in tears, but they were tears of gratitude. The leader shared some words, which said, “WE are never alone!”
Walking the Camino is “not” about walking!
It’s so much more….
This is a small part of my Camino experience, everyone has their own.
A few of the many experiences with people I meet during my journey, of which will become my next book.•
- The C.E.O. of a large multi-million dollar company that walked with a janitor of a school, they taught each other, life lessons!
• The prostitute who asked, “Do you think God will forgive me?”
• The Professor from Harvard, a mathematician, who said, “I just figured out “Life is not all about ones and zeros.”
• The student who discovered his first job will be about passion not money!
• The lady whose father just died who told me, “You are my father!”…I was speechless.
• The husband-wife history teachers who said, “I will teach my students about the history of the Camino, but the true lesson is about self-discovery!”
• The lady who bought a gun to kill the person who took the life of her son in an accident.
• The resent divorcee who feared; she will spend the rest of her life by herself. Her Camino lesson; she will “never” be alone!
• The alcoholic, who hid in a bottle his whole life, discovered he was not a bad person but his behavior was. He learned how to get rid of all his guilt and shame from his past.
• The atheist who said, “There is no God!” But there is something?
• The family of eight, from 4 to 62 years old, grandma, grandpa, son, daughter and grandchildren, said, “This journey will always be in our hearts even after we finish.”
These and many other stories will be coming soon!
REFLECTION; ”CAN I BE AT PEACE & PAIN….AT THE SAME TIME?”
My Camino lesson was, “YES!”
Since I had a reputation of being such a slow walker, I created “THE SNAIL GANG” for us slow-pokes. Click HERE to check it out.
My friend Susan R Mann made this video of me during my walk, sharing a few things that were going on in my head?
I did make one final un-planded walk from Fisterra to Muxia, It was truly magical. I then went to my new friend, author, Tracy Saunders home for a Pilgrims Retreat called “The Little Fox House” to re-adjust back to the “other” life. It was great! Check out her video…HERE.