When I went to confession in Santiago de Compostela (to the same priest, German Fr. Stephan, that I have the picture of Rachel going to confession to in my last blog), he said, "Katie, you know that Santiago de Compostela is not the end of the Camino. It is the beginning. This is the new beginning for the rest of your life. You take what you have learned here, and you apply it to all that you are and all that you do as you go back home. This is, in fact, the beginning, and it's a glorious beginning."
At the same time that Rachel and I were both hearing this, unknown to us at the time, Julia was sitting outside on the cathedral steps journaling. As she finished her last entry, she moved to the bottom of the page to write, "The end." And her pen gave out after the first letter and never wrote again.
Tina, who, having begun her journey one day after the rest of us, and having walked on a miserably rainy day on that first day's passage through the Pyranees, also arrived in Finnestare soaking wet. She said that at one point she was close to despair, absolutely miserable and several kilometers away, when she suddenly realized that she was ending just as she began ... and in a way it was so fitting. Even though her external circumstances looked and felt the same, she herself was no longer the same. The Camino wasn't exactly what Tina, or any of us, expected -- but it was exactly what we needed -- or perhaps, what we continue to need as we all arrive back home and pick up our "normal" lives.
To all of you who have followed our journey on my blog -- thank you! Your encouragement has helped us, and knowing this was being read has kept me blogging! From ALL of the "camigos" whose story you have participated in vicariously, we all appreciate your support of us!
| || |