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Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Day I'll Never Forget

Saturday, June 02, 2012
2:26 PM Arizona, 11:26 PM Spain

A most wonderful day!  Today I was determined to get up and make sure I had a seat for the mass that the cathedral because it was the day the “Botafumeiro” will be used.   I’m very sad that Lisa will not be there with me and I’m really missing her presents beside me now.  After arriving at the cathedral, around 7:30 AM, it’s time to scope out the best seat and make it mine.  It is chilly in here but, that’s O.K. I’m not moving from this seat at least that’s what I thought.   Eight thirty rolls around, It’s cold and now have to pee but, I’m not moving.  So I’ll risk running to a local bar, yes they are open early on Sunday morning, buy a cup of coffee and relieve myself.  I’m back in the cathedral with only a few others were there with me not the throngs I’d expected.  The waiting gives me time to contemplate some of what has happened since we started the Camino.

From the start I became more aware of my surrounding and the people in them like watching a movie of us from above.  I see Lisa and me moving through the world and interacting with our surroundings.  There seems to be a guiding hand moving us along and toward certain people.  Riding the bike, then walking, then using the bus, then walking again all had some reason for happening when it did.  We are really very tolerant of each other, putting all judgments away, our spirits enjoying the presents of the other.   We are able to walk for miles either talking or not, taking pictures of the same things because we both find them interesting.   We are able to talk intimately about our lives, making observations with no need to get into an argument over every statement.  Feeling the same things at the same time and knowing by just looking at each other. I can’t count the number of time we just looked at each other and started laughing, just knowing.   It seems that each person met along the way had something to teach us together and individually.   Each had advice, or a story to share about their lives that would touch ours.

It is now around 11:30 AM mass will start in another half hour.  I sit on a wooden pew with tears in my eyes.  The mass would not start until Noon and this spot would be mine when the cathedral filled.  My camera us ready having been fully charged the night before.   From time to time I’d lift my head leaving a wet warm spot where my chin had rested on my chest.  There were dark spots on my shirt from tears that ran down my face.  I wiped at them with a hand that had already been dampened by those already shed.  Looking about this ancient fortress of God’s I though this is not the way it was supposed to end.   But, this was how it was ending no matter how many times I looked up to see if she was walking through the door across the transept from me.  Of course I knew that only happened in the movies.   There were no busses from Finisterre to get her here in time for Mass.  Then the miracle happened I look up to see Lisa coming down the aisle with a huge smile on her face.  I’m dumbfounded as we grab hold of each other with tears and smiles.  At that moment there was no one else in the church but us hanging on to each other.  She cared enough about me to put aside what she had planned.   She said it was just not right for us not to finish the trip together.  We watched Botafumeiro swing blessing all the pilgrims present enjoying this wonderful service together.  I believe we were both happy in our hearts and spirits that the Camion worked this out.

Posted: 10/19/2014

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Long Lonely Ride

Friday, June 1, 2012

After breakfast we are on the bus to Finisterre “the end of the world.”  Lisa has indeed decided that she will stay there tonight while I return to Compostela to attend mass tomorrow then head back to Leon.   I’m really disappointed that we will not be attending the mass together which to me is kind of like closure to the journey.  After reaching town we again follow the Camion to the Cape which has become kind of an official end of the Camino.  We get lost then find our way eventually reaching the rugged cost line which once marked the end of the known world.   Pilgrims have left shoes and other personal items they have worn here to signify they had made the journey safely and it is over.  Others will burn an item of clothing for the same reason.  We did not have anything to burn or leave so we had a glass of wine and headed back to town.

This would be our last dinner together which was quite rushed as we were unsure of when the bus would leave.  We are not saying much and I see a bus pull in so I go over to see if it will take me back to Compostela alone.  It is and I run back to where Lisa is sitting grab my stuff trying hard not to cry hug her and head to the bus.  The ride back to Compostela was one of the loneliest times of my life.  I cried most of the way back trying to hide my emotions from the rest of the passengers.   There was a bit of a laugh as I listened to a Mormon pilgrim telling some German fellow about his religion but that was short lived.

I cannot explain how lonely I was that night wandering the path Lisa and I had traveled to get back to the Albergue.  I stopped in at the corner cafĂ© and listened again as the local fellows began to sign.  Tonight they seemed to sense and were singing sad songs not the gay ones of a night ago.  Back in the Albergue with enough wine in me to insure sleep I laid down to sleep knowing Lisa was not in a bunk near me for the first time in a month.   So very sad and so very lonely yet again.