One Last Camino Miracle
Sunday, we awoke to the sound of the rain, which had been falling most of the night. Our hotel was in a former monastery, so we got to do yoga in the basement which had been the stables of the monastery back in the day. Deep in the earth, we celebrated our connection to the earth and had breakfast in the large dining room with lots of our fellow pilgrims and some tourists. A bit different for us after our secluded hotels of the path, but an interesting way to start to reintegrate.
We looked at the forecast, which was for more rain, so we packed for our beach day accordingly. We leaders were a bit curious as to how we would negotiate the day in the rain, but trusted that Jose would find a way to help us make it work nonetheless.
We made our way back to our bus. While it was driven by a friendly and highly capable bus driver, we were somewhat wistful for our beloved Tito who had taken such good care of us on the path.
Ready for the miracle? Yes, one of our more observant pilgrims looked out the right window and, voila, a blue sky accented by a beautiful rainbow!!
Our first stop, if you dont count the bathroom, was a six thousand year old dolman, or burial chamber. Jose explained how it was built and that such dolmans were common in the region. Frankly, no one even noticed that we were dry, taking for granted good things as we always do. One of the things we had discussed during the path is how we often don't notice what we have until it is taken away, be it running water, a healthy body part, or a sunny day.
After the dolman, we drove to a beautiful seaside town where we walked on a boardwalk out into the middle of the ocean to a series of rocky islands. It felt somewhat like our Maine rock bound coast but the rocks were smoother. Out there, Jose told us some of the legends of St James as we were at the mouth of the estuary that St James' relics were carried on their stone boat up the river towards Santiago de Compostela. We also saw some mussel farms. Most importantly, we saw the exact place where Jose and his family collected our scallop shells. Even though we were there at high tide, some of our group was able to find some interesting shells themselves. We returned to the shore and then some of us rested on the bus, some jogged back out to the point and some of us saluted the sun on the sand. Perfecto!
Next, the bus took us to our beach for a closing ceremony. With rain forecast for Sunday for a week, it was amazing to come onto our beautiful, sun bathed, nearly deserted beach. We gathered one last time in our circle, including energetically our three pilgrims who had to stay home, and together and also separately and in silence released what we needed to release.
After our sacred closing, we came to the ceremonial dip in the Atlantic. We had an amazingly high percentage of us brave the frankly ferociously turbulent water.
As happens when we travel on this path, it turned out our untimed swim time was exactly the amount of time needed for Jose to prepare our last lunch together. We walked into a nearby pine grove for our last amazing Jose prepared lunch.
I dont need to tell you how poignant our departure was from Jose and the beach. He was an angel to all of us in one way or another and we all bid him "hasta luego" or "hasta pronto" but certainly not "adios."
We had a peaceful and uneventful trip back to Santiago where we bid farewell to one pilgrim who was leaving on a Sunday night flight.
The rest of us enjoyed another night in the city. Activities I know about included attending the pilgrims mass, dinner with many of us together, exploratory city walks, shopping and resting.
I would like to add just a bit about the pilgrims mass. The cathedral of Santiago is under renovation, so the pilgrims masses are spread across the city. It was so refreshing and embracing to be snug in a small church, Mary the focal point of the altar, the small congregation 95 percent pilgrims, 0 percent tourists. An amazing spiritual end to the trip.
We have now all gone our separate ways, for the most part. We will hold each other and the time on the path in our hearts, and wait with interest to see how the seeds that we planted grow in ways that we cannot imagine.
Copyright 2019 Nancy and Hugh Murray