I am existing in a state of disbelief. Did I really just spend the last month walking nearly 500 miles? Have I actually routinely awoken before sunrise to pack a 15 pound bag and walk, on average, 24 kilometers? Is it true that I have allowed myself to become numb to pain in my legs, hips, and feet? Have I truly befriended people from Denmark, Italy, England, South Korea, Spain, and elsewhere? Is it true that sitting in a Basilica on the western coast of Spain could feel like a homecoming as pilgrims from points all over the globe file in from all entrances?
As a thought and in reflection these questions seem implausible. I never imagined I would have the strength and stamina to walk such a distance. I never imagined I would have the willpower to push through unrelenting pain. I never imagined that a foreign church would feel like home and that so many people could feel like family.
Doubt has a way of etching into the realities of truth. I have walked a seemingly unsurmountable distance. My feet are callused and my legs are more defined. Something that once was thought impossible has been made possible. This last month has occurred and other than a few scars, little proof exists.
This is true in life, love, and faith. It is impossible to prove the love that one person has for another. It is impossible to exhibit the transformation that a relationship can have on a person. It is unlikely that someone can produce evidence for their faith. For all of these things however, we know them to be true because of the dynamic effect they have made on us internally.
In the days, weeks, months, and years ahead I will still be processing my time on the Camino de Santiago. The lure of the yellow arrows will continually mark the way towards welcoming hospitable relationships. The comfort of the seashells will forever draw my attention and cause me to remember my innate connection with other people. The breaking of good bread and sharing of a good meal will forever display the communion that can be celebrated with people across cultural, political, and linguistic divides.
I am not certain yet what this experience has done for me, but I know that while my road to Santiago de Compostela has come to an end the real Camino is just beginning.
|1||June 11||St. Jean Pied de Port (Albergue Buen Camino)||Roncesvalles||Colegiata||24.1 km||30.8 km|
|2||June 12||Roncesvalles||Larrosoaña||San Nicolas||27.2 km||34.18 km|
|3||June 13||Larrosoaña||Pamplona||Casa Paderborn||15.6 km||32.41 km|
|4||June 14||Pamplona||Puente la Reina||Padres Reparadores||23.8 km||38.38 km|
|5||June 15||Puente la Reina||Estella||San Miguel (donativo)||21.9 km||34.96 km|
|6||June 16||Estella||Los Arcos||Isaac Santiago||21.5 km||24.52 km|
|7||June 17||Los Arcos||Logroño||Santiago Parish (donativo)||27.8 km||31.9 km|
|8||June 18||Logroño||Nájera||Nájera Municipal (donativo)||28.9 km||44.3 km|
|9||June 19||Nájera||Grañón||Iglesia de San Juan Bautista (donativo)||28 km||36.74 km|
|10||June 20||Grañón||Belorado||Cuatro Cantones||15.7 km||28.11 km|
|11||June 21||Belorado||Agés||San Rafael||27.8 km||33.3 km|
|12||June 22||Agés||Burgos||Divina Pastora||27.6 km||32.74 km|
|13||June 23||Burgos||Hontanas||Santa Brigida||31.5 km||36.75 km|
|14||June 24||Hontanas||Itero del Castillo||Ermita de San Nicolás, Italian Confraternity (donatovo)||18.5 km||19.74 km|
|15||June 25||Itero del Castillo||Villalcázar de Sirga||Villalcázar Municipal (donatovo)||30.5 km||?24.78 km?|
|16||June 26||Villalcázar de Sirga||Ledigos||La Morena (HEAVEN!)||29.1 km||35.24 km|
|17||June 27||Ledigos||Bercianos del Real Camino||Bercianos (donativo)||26.9 km||30.92 km|
|18||June 28||Bercianos del Real Camino||Mansilla de las Mulas Bus Station||San Francisco de Asís (Leon)||26.7 km||36.58 km|
|19||June 29||Leon||Leon||San Francisco de Asís||0 km||10.53 km|
|20||June 30||Leon||Villar de Mazarife||Casa de Jesús||21.8 km||22.86 km|
|21||July 1||Villar de Mazarife||Astroga||Siervas de María||31.2 km||35.76 km|
|22||July 2||Astroga||Rabanal del Camino||San Salvador del Monte Irago Monastery (donativo)||20.6 km||21.34 km|
|23||July 3||Rabanal del Camino||Rabanal del Camino||San Salvador del Monte Irago Monastery (donativo)||0 km||2.8 km|
|24||July 4||Rabanal del Camino||Molinaseca||Santa Marina||25.6 km||31.2 km|
|25||July 5||Molinaseca||Villafranca del Bierzo||Hospederia San Nicolás El Real||30.6 km||39.7 km|
|26||July 6||Villafranca del Bierzo||O’Cebreiro||O’Cebreiro Xunta||28.9 km||30.84 km|
|27||July 7||O’Cebreiro||A Balsa||El Beso||23 km||26.42 km|
|28||July 8||A Balsa||Barbadelo||Molino de Marzán||23.9 km||27.68 km|
|29||July 9||Barbadelo||Gonzar||Gonzar Xunta||22.4 km||25.49 km|
|30||July 10||Gonzar||Melide||San Antón||31.5 km||35.55 km|
|31||July 11||Melide||Salceda||Boni||25.5 km||28.45 km|
|32||July 12||Salceda||Santiago de Compostela||Seminario Menor La Asunción||28.2 km||37.38 km|