Santiago de Compostela | You don't choose a life. You live one.
|You don't choose a life. You live one.|
Upon arriving at the Cathedral of Santiago, I dropped in the pew with exhaustion and stared up at Jesus hanging above the alter. Jesus and I had many conversations on The Way, many of which were very ugly. Indeed as a skeptic of all things supernatural, I tended to be quite vocal in my anger with this imaginary apparition as I screamed at him into thin-air while walking, tripping, falling, or getting yet another rock in my shoe. One hill after another I'd triumph over, and curse into the clouds and demand defiantly "is that all you got?" My foot was cramping, my arm is bleeding, and head pouring in sweat, and his answer would come in the form of another hill, twice as high, just minutes later. Yet in the end, everything placed in between me and Santiago de Compostela became nothing more than the fleeting memories of pain and anguish, as the once doubted success of my journey became accomplishment
|Camino de Santiago|
I met divorcees, cancer patients, people from all over the world. I had dinner with strangers, ate octopus and drank bottles of wine. I spoke in German, French, English and Spanish though I only speak a bit of three of them. I took the long way round, and lived my life a kilometer at a time. I rested on rock walls, crossed ancient rivers, and felt every emotion from anger, to exhilaration. Whether a week, or forty days on the Camino, you live an entire lifetime on the Camino. A world destined to fade into a story, your legend, upon your return home.
"Oh yes my dear, such a place does exist."
This is when you kiss them on the head and tuck them into bed, and before you close the book you read the page and chuckle...
"A place where there isn't any trouble. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain. "
As you walk out of the room, and shut off the light, a tired little voice whispers into the darkness "it was never about getting to the end, was it mommy?"
"I walk the Camino everyday sweetheart."
The Camino's beginning is actually its end. The moment you arrive is when you begin living your life one step at a time.
In 2016, I returned to the Camino: Read it here.