The previous 4 weeks spent on the Camino had taught me that confessions come as freely as observations about the weather.
Once the formality of people picking out my accent is ‘American’, rather than ‘British’, they proceeded to tell me their reasons for walking the Camino: they had survived cancer, they suffered from severe depression, lost a loved one, or were unable to find work for an extended period of time. Of course not everyone was in a crisis, but for most, life did not follow a prescribed linear path.
Something at one point in time had broke (mostly within them self), and the Camino was here to help fix it.
But like all problems in life some are easier to fix than others. Sometimes the solutions are simple (have a beer), others are hard and require months or years of hard work (going to law school to become a lawyer). To accomplish both requires the same thing: action.
What the Camino shows you is that no matter the distance between you and your goal, if you put one foot in front of the other you’ll make it to your destination. Like most who decided to walk the Camino, life didn’t follow a prescribed path. And once on the Camino, there was no prescribed path you had to take. Stop for that coffee, not once but twice. Order the bottle of wine instead of just a glass. Walk further /shorter than you had initially planned because you felt better/worse than you expected.
When I walked into Santiago de Compostela and stood in the shadows of the cathedral, I knew I had accomplished something good, almost as if I had done something divine.
My life until then had been a mixture of both good and bad decisions. Deciding to walking the Camino is definitely one of the those ‘good’ decisions.
For many pilgrims, the Christian portion of the journey ends in Santiago. Some are drawn to the pagan track and head further west to Finisterre, the ‘end of the world’.
During the Roman Empire, Finisterre marked the western most part of their empire – meaning, the end of the world.