Dance for Joy in the Rain

Today's version of perfect weather was largely wet. After a forecast of rain we were surprised to wake to a view of a dry road. By the time we gathered yoga equipment to go to the lawn, however, the rain had started, so we snuggly set up nside the hotels tiny living room.

Breakfast was good and hearty, followed by a short pre-walk meeting. The words for the day were JOY and its cousin wonder and with a few inspiring, rowdy, poems, we set off in full rain gear (well, the sane pilgrims had full rain gear).

The morning path was our longest single stretch yet, at around 11 miles. The rain provided a bit of an extra challenge as we skipped, sung, danced, marched, snd occasionally trudged, along the path to Santiago. As the wind and rain picked up, we all for to consider how we deal with surrendering with grace to what we cannot change and to see the joy and light inside every moment. Of course, we did this together, path comraderie even stronger in a bit of rain! The markers that counted down the kilometers now simply showed the direction in most cases (although some wag had written “still 500KM” - the distance from the French border - on many of the markers).

Drenched and smiling, we summited the Mount of Joy and Jose had magically conjured us a covered area for our picnic. We laughed (perhaps so we wouldnt cry?) as we ate and dripped, readying ourselves for the final, short, leg of our journey.

We set out on the final 5 KM walking altogether as a “snuggly little pod” and by the time we entered the Old City of Santiago, the rain had stopped. We entered the city in joyful triumph and with many other pilgrims gathered in the square in front of the Cathedral. Lots of smiling, laughter, and pictures.

Wet, tired, and sore, we checked into our hotel (literally next door to the Cathedral), took warking showers with the best water pressure in Europe, and after a short rest met for our guided tour of the cathedral and museum. Our guide, Eva, was full of knowledge and told us wonderful stories of the recent and not so recent history of the Santiago Cathedral.

We all gathered for a fun meal at the go-to family restaurant around the corner, and most of us returned to the hotel, exhausted but satisfied, before the rains began again. What a joy!!

Copyrigth 2019 Nancy and Hugh Murray