I’m going to have to confess that from this day, Tuesday, till I reach Santiago de Compostela, on Sunday, I am probably going to be a little one-minded. It is as I began to discuss a couple of posts back; I’m nearing the end of this pilgrimage. My mind is locked in on the realization, and my physical destination is clear. I’d also have to say that I sense the work done within me is near completion. I sense its place in my mind, my heart, and my soul. Something is irrevocably changed; I’m just not sure of what it is. That is something that I think will play itself out on my return and in the subsequent months and years to come.
I can say that my spirit is a lot happier now than when I left for The Way of St. James. Knowing God’s timing, my spirit has endured much in my blink-of-an-eye life; lying entombed for so many of my years, waiting patiently for God’s hand to reach down and turn the key in the lock. And then it had to, though happily so, tag along with my impatience to devour all good teachings in front of me; to the point my poor spirit probably had a gag reflex more than once over some of the things I was trying to digest. Well, I sense he’s beginning to truly feel his wings coming to full strength. It is his time, now.
And so I walk. My journey this day is to Sarria. This is the last call for new pilgrims, as the Spanish government has declared that a pilgrim must walk, ride a bicycle, or ride a horse for at least 100 kilometers in order to qualify for their Compostela, or certificate of accomplishment. That being said, and with this being summer, I expect to see quite a few more peregrinos out on the Camino. But not today.
Today it is quiet. My dorm room, with its eight pilgrims is still dark at 6:00am in the morning. That’s unusual. I up and trying my hardest to be as quiet as possible as I dress, check my pack and slip out of the room and into the reception area of the Albergue. I grab my shoes, lace them up and it’s out the door I go. Dawn hasn’t quite arrived and I pace down the main street of Triacastela without a car in sight; only a few other pilgrims from the other Albergues; gathering their strength for the assault ahead.
Yeah, today’s going to be like the last two; a lot of up and a lot of down, a lot of rural farmland and a lot of aged villages, a lot of rough path and a lot of old, paved road, a lot of dark forest and a lot sunny glens. We’re all pretty well spread out, and I can tell that we are all concentrating more on the end than the beginning. These words flowing from my brain clearly tell me that inspiration and adventure lies not in the physical, but in the spiritual realm.
This is the second day I have not had to clothe myself first in my t-shirt, then my fleece with hood, then my Royal Robbins, long-sleeve shirt, and finally my jacket. No, today the weather is decidedly warmer. As I look upwards I see a cloudy day before my eyes, yet I immediately realize that what I’m looking at is the legendary mist that I saw yesterday. It’s just that this time I am looking up rather than down. The unique characteristic of such a covering is that it holds in the moisture and a certain amount of the heat of the land. So what we pilgrims were experiencing was a chill in the air and a sweat on our bodies – a most unusual combination when all that you are doing is walking. To wear more than a t-shirt is to invite a steam room experience while standing in a walk-in refrigerator.
As I walked along I realized that I’m not the only pilgrim who’s thinking about the end of the road. The government has made it a point to document the remaining kilometers on the stone markers you’ve seen multiple pictures of. Now, I can count down the kilometers as I go….. 139 kilometers, 138 kilometers….. all the way down to 111 kilometers as I entered Sarria. I’m going to go bonkers over this one by the time I reach Santiago de Compostela.
Got some good pictures. I especially like the cream-colored cows. Right after I took the picture, one of the males got a little frisky with one of the females. Don’t think she had her lipstick on yet. Enjoy them all.
Love and God Bless – Reese