Day 32 - Ribadiso to O Pedrouza - 24 km
It is the big day of arrival tomorrow - only 21 km to go, and we will be on the road by 6, as we want to be in the Cathedral for the pilgrim mass at noon.
After 33 days of journey, we will be at our destination. I am in a bit of turmoil, and I am sure I am not alone.
How will I feel on arrival?
Yesterday, I was discussing this with a woman on her second Camino. She said she felt there should have been bells rung or a brass band to mark her arrival. But it is an internal experience.
Last time, I felt flat, with little emotion - drained, really. ¨Is that all there is? ¨ I thought.After the buildup and excitement as we neared, the 32 days of walking, the anticipation. But when the botifumeira flew ( the incense burner, which is huge) I burst into tears, and was in touch with my mixed emotions and my ambivalence.
On one hand, I am glad that it is over. Unpacking every night, packing up every morning, carrying a heavy backpack, waking in the night and wondering where I am, where the servicios are, and whether I am on a top or bottom bunk, the limited choices on the menus compared to home, the wear and tear on my body, the exhaustion.
But there are losses to grieve on arrival. The end of the camraderie - perhaps 100 people we have met and had a personal connection with, and will never see again. Eating dinner every night with a constantly changing group of brave adventurous interesting people from around the world. The beautiful panorama of every day. The endorphins and high that comes with the 6 hours of walking. The freedom from responsibilities and obligations to others in our life at home. The uncertainty in returning to our old life - are there changes we want to make - do we pick up where we left off, or let go of some parts of it?
All I needed, I carried in my backpack. What about all the stuff at home?
How can I be the me that walked the Camino - my best self - in the world I return to?
That was quick. Now what. It will be interesting to see what tea pots go on the auction block. No wait. In Ligonde, my Rabanal, I read a pamphlet. It was a conversation between a guru or saint and a pilgrim. The Guru pegged it right, being on pilgrimage is easy, taking that ethos back into the daily decisions of life that is hard. Mind you, apart from the odd tea pot, you have already brought much of the Camino back home. It will be interesting to see what new components make it across the Atlantic.
Many have commented back home that they liked your themed reports from the Camino. They are very instructive and helpful. Maybe we can package them for the TorontoCaminoPilgrim facebook page. See you in July. I will be checking email, while out on the way. Just finished the Way is Made by Walking. Awesome. But I will not be blogging or emailing while out there.
Lenore has promised to check where the front end loaders take all the stones from Cruz to Fero. We are thinking of installing stop action cameras.
Final pop quiz. True or false the incense used in Santiago is a derivative of skunk glands.
Right now I am in an in-between place, but do intend to clean up my act at home, at least somewhat, and it will be a challenge.Delete
Thanks for the comment on the content. I know you don´t appreciate the ¨got up, had ccl, walked 20 km¨ kind of blog, so I tried!
Skunk glands? I don´t think you can top that. Yes?
Darlene and Wendy, congratulations! What a whirlwind of emotions get unleashed. I am sure, as with many of us, it will take a bit of walking back home to walk off the Camino. I enjoyed your reporting and agree with Mike, your themed blog entries were intriguing, especially once I read the headlines and reacted to it in my own fashion, to be set straight. I think MIke's idea of package for the TCP facebook page would be wonderful, whenever you feel it to be the right time. Your blog has been introduced to our facebook fans. I think it would also be a fun exercise for Mike to package his pop quizzes. ;-)ReplyDelete
Enjoy Santiago, hope the sun comes out for you two, Ultreia y Suseya Ingrid
Let´s talk about this when I get home. Any way I can help pilgrims...Delete
Glad you too enjoyed the posts. His quiz questions sure are puzzlers!
Congratulations Darlene. Time is such a funny thing. It seems like such a short time since we saw you and our snowy owl on the Leslie Street Spit and yet a long time in terms of experiences, people met, miles tread (we are in the States so it's miles for us). Wise of you to hang out in the ambivalence if that's what you are experiencing. I too enjoyed the themed blog entries and have referred to specific ones when wondering what to wear, how to stay healthy etc. See you soon,ReplyDelete
Looking forward to returning, walking, then sleeping in my own bed. See you soon!Delete
I've really enjoyed your blogging Darlene. Thanks for sharing your journey. I've felt at times like I'm there with you. You're a great writer.ReplyDelete
While this part may be coming to an end -- another journey is just beginning.
Thanks, Mary Anne. Looking forward to catching up with you. I love to share!Delete
Darlene - Congratulations to you and Wendy. I can only imagine all the emotions you are experiencing. and have totally appreciated and enjoyed all the sharing you have done with us all. you are truly a generous spirit. all the best and see you back on this side of the pond!ReplyDelete
Hope to see you out hiking, and if not, coffee!Delete
I Guess you will have arrived by now. I so enjoyed your posting as your approached your final destination. It was such a tribute to the experience.ReplyDelete
You expressed so well, many things that I'm sure most of us felt at the end.
Thanks for sharing the journey.
Looking forward to the return on Friday, and hiking next week. Miss those endorphins! Thanks for following along.Delete