Day 8: Arrival at Cathedral de Compostela
By Paula Calise and Nancy Wilbur
We rose and assembled for morning devotion under a bright moon. Still partially dark, the moon stayed with us for the first hour walk toward our pilgrim’s destination Santiago de Compostela. We walked today with a mix of emotions - satisfaction and relief that our pilgrim’s journey would be completed today, and a bit of sadness that this spiritual adventure and physical trial would come to an end.
In the second hour of our walk, big city life with is trappings left behind five days earlier seeped back into our reality when the first airplane could be heard from the Santiago airport, a sound absent from our walk since Sarria.
We were told when we started the Camino that we would have to time to walk alone with God in reflection, to deepen the friendships of our SMMA fellow pilgrims and to meet pilgrims from many places from around the world. All three of these conditions were in play on the last day of our walk. Especially poignant were the pilgrims who we met time and again along the trail that we would wish Buen Camino for the last time and then say goodbye. Sharon from Paris, Angel and his British sons and the group from the Twin Cities were among those to whom we wished goodbye as we looked ahead to the culmination of our journey. In a few hours, we caught the first glimpse of the spires of the Cathedral de Compostela and knew that soon our pilgrimage would come to an end.
As we leave today behind and turn the writing of this blog to our friends who will write tomorrow, we wish you the pilgrim’s wish “Camino para mi hoy, Camino para tu manana.”
Today was the day that we shall reach our destination in Santiago de Compostela. This city is the capital of the Galicia region of Spain and is known as the culmination of the Camino route. It is the third most important pilgrimage in the Catholic world.
Our pilgrimage is almost over, and we shall be saying goodbye to our friends we have walked with over the last 6 days. And yet, we are all in awe of what we have learned from and experienced on the Camino.
The last few small villages that we walked through today reminded us even more of why we came to the Camino. The small village of Monte de Gozo is where pilgrims have stopped to give praise and thanks over the last 1000 years. Even today, the Camino calls us to do the same. We find ourselves thanking God for this opportunity to stop and listen while in the stillness of the forest or being able to see and touch something so precious in God’s creation as the baby lamb that came to us when we called it. The blessings of this pilgrimage will never be forgotten!