Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

Links to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimages are on the navigation links to the right of the web page.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Day 16 - It's the End of the World as We Know It

I feel fine.

The bus trip to Finisterre was easy and Conrad and I walked the 4km from the bus stop to the Faro (lighthouse) easily. The coast was almost like Southern California. We walked besides peregrinos and when we arrived at the end of the world, we soaked in the warm sun.

While there we observed the reverent ways people marked the end of their journeys. Many left or burned their walking sticks, their scallop shells, shirts, or shoes.

I ran into Rajko, head of pathology at a university hospital in Slovenia, and his wife Lydia. We met in Foncebadon at the Cruz de Ferro and bumped into each other almost daily. His son got his medical degree at UCLA and is now in San Francisco.

Lydia had burned some papers, which was my intention. They offered me their lighter as a way to both light my offerings and to remember how we, as ships sailing in the dark, saw each other's flames throughout this journey.

Conrad and I talked of his future, of his dreams. We laughed and cried. 

Then, when it seemed right, he filmed me as I set aflame my papers. The papers were the holding words, phrases, and thoughts of things that have held me back, that have weighed me down.

I burnt them as an offering of Thanksgiving that I made it to the end of the world. I prayed that I could leave them here if grace allowed. I let the ashes smolder as each word lit up then flickered away. And I thanked God for bringing me to this heavenly place.

I said goodbye to Conrad and hoped we met again soon in America or Austria. It was like saying goodbye to a son. I felt good for his future and hoped I affected him well.

On the walk down to the town, I ran into Kyu again. We said our goodbyes once more as he prepares to pack his London apartment and move back to Korea. I hope he finds a fashion job back home as he dreams.

While waiting for the bus home, an older gent from Sussex chatted me up about my Taizé cross. He has been there four times since 1988. He also was finishing up his second Camino. We enjoyed our brief but deep discussion about ecumenical spiritual communities that we both seemed to enjoy.

I rode back in silent contemplation to finish my time at Santiago. 

And I felt fine.

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