I’m writing this post from a bus to Portugal. I’m the last of my group to depart and I’m extremely sad but so happy as well.
The final day walking was emotional and tense. I struggled with the idea that soon I would have to say good bye to my new family and a man that brings such laughter to my world.
Physically I was still in pain and I have the feeling that I will be for a bit longer. The walking into Santiago was actually a little disappointing. From photos and the movie ‘The Way’ you see two pilgrim statues and an amazing view of the Cathedral. We didn’t get that. What we got was a little rain and through more industrial zones.
When we first got to the cathedral we were at the North entrance and this is where the tears and emotions first started. By the time we got to the front I was trying to hold back tears long enough to at least get some photos.
We were able to attend the pilgrim mass as we arrived before 12. Priests that we’ve crossed paths with were part if the service and the cathedral seemed to have numerous people we had encountered including the most humble South Korean couple I have ever met.
It’s hard to describe as someone not Christian just how amazing this service was. After the service we kept running into people we knew. After obtaining our Compostela’s we headed off for a pilgrims meal.
If the magic of the pilgrims mass wasn’t enough we went again the next day for perhaps the crowning moment of the trip. Russ, who is in seminary was participating in the service today. After spending 30 odd days with Russ I burst into tears seeing him in white robes walking to the altar with the Priests. The fact we got to see the Botafumeiro was even more spectacular.
So I guess the biggest question is:was it worth it? My instant answer is Hell Yes!!! It’s certainly not for everyone and it does take a certain kind of faith and craziness for anyone to want to do it. I don’t understand people who have done the whole think numerous times but I can see its attraction for me to do something similar again. My feet just throbbed with pain but that won’t be for a while.
As I head to Porto I realise I know nothing about Portugal or Porto or what I’m going to do for 3 days but as the hostel has free walking tours tomorrow I will head out walking. Yep my feet are protesting but I think a lazy afternoon today and some good food might do the trick.
I know one thing without fail my heart feels alive from the journey!! In the words of Peace Pilgrim This is the way of peace; overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth and hatred with love.