Day 34 (June 13) Arzua to O Pedrouzo (12 miles)
It was so nice to walk in the sunshine today and to be on the trail alone with my thoughts for a while. I am trying to prepare myself for my arrival in Santiago tomorrow. Things I am focused on now are:
How do I feel about this walk ending?
Did I find the answers I was seeking?
What will I do differently when I return?
I am beginning to formulate answers in my mind and will try to develop conclusions over the next few days. This is hard work, but well-fueled by the motion of my feet.
I know that the Cathedral in Santiago is a busy place, but when I get there, I want to find a quiet spot to pray. Of course, I can pray anywhere, but at the end of this trek along the Way of St. James, it seems especially important to be there.
My prayer time during this trip has brought me closer to Sam. On our last trip together, Iceland in 2015, Sam told me that when he was stressed, he would meditate and pray. I thought about the order he specified. Meditate to calm the body and clear the mind. Then pray to talk to God. When we had that conversation, I was laying at the foot of his bed, where he had been napping. He was trying to help me relax from the stress of managing the details of our three-generation family vacation. That is one of my favorite memories, Sam giving me advice.
When Sam’s substance use problems first became apparent, I developed some anxiety, not just about him, but a generalized anxiety I had never known before. I was always the plunge right in, tell everyone how to do it person, who never looked back. Afterward, I felt vulnerable somehow, started letting things bother me. I am trying to use this time on the Camino to implant Sam’s advice about stress management and, I think it’s working. Not once on this trip have I worried about plans gone awry or stressed about what’s ahead.
After my thoughtful, spiritual morning, I ran into Marcela, the Columbian WonderWoman, who had bounced back from another injury.
We ran across the Peregrina (female pilgrim) Beer rest stop and, guess what, it was time for a break.
She told me many things about Columbia, her country, and I will say it changed my view. I have never been there, but for some reason, I had thought of it as a very slow paced country. Not Marcela’s Columbia, where the kids go to school at 6 am, offices open at 7 and the work week is 48 hours long.
We had a great lunch and said goodbye for the day, walking to our separate destinations for the evening, (Marcela on an ankle that was swollen double in size.) I ended up in an old mill turned creepy, ramshackle hotel. There were only four of us in the dining room. I miss my noisy, crowded albergues.
Tomorrow is the grand finale! Time for rest.