Day 8: Arrival

We walked into Santiago de Compostela today. It rained all morning as we walked through forests and city streets. I didn’t really mind the rain, and my wild pink poncho with white polka dots kept me fairly dry and visible on the path.We stopped for coffee. We saw a witch.We passed and were passed by other soggy pilgrims. We got lost then found… But mainly we just walked. And then we arrived.The square in front of the cathedral is immense and, for a brief moment, it was ours. Bagpipes played. People jostled for good selfies. It felt a bit like a graduation ceremony – millions of people had arrived in that cathedral square over the centuries and millions will continue to pour in over time. But for that one brief moment, it was about us, our story, our arrival.And then we walked on, to find our hotel, to have a meal, to rest before beginning our onward journeys back to our normal lives. We have decided not to get our compostelas, the certificates that are issued to pilgrims who have met the criteria. I don’t need to collect anything. What has happened for me is internal and personal and cannot be expressed with an impersonal certificate that will inevitably get crammed into a filing drawer.Instead I will keep my credencial, my pilgrim’s passport that I have carried this week, with its colourful stamps carefully collected, each of which evokes a memory.We also opted not to attend the traditional Pilgrims Mass, held each evening in a smaller church this year while the cathedral is undergoing massive renovations. Instead we visited La Corticela, a tiny 13th century chapel that was part of an even older monastery that is now within the cathedral, in order to light a candle and pray for someone who needs that small act from us. Personal. Intimate. Heartful.And then we celebrated with fine food and a glass of champagne.

9 thoughts on “Day 8: Arrival

  1. Giving thanks for your arrival … thnk you for sharing a glimpse of your pilgrim journey x

  2. Thank you two for sharing your thoughts with the outer world. Congratulations for having mad the way. Have a good return.

  3. …. messages from a Camino are like bubbles in the champagne, They rise to the top and PoP pOp POP!
    Way to go friends!!!!❣️

  4. Thank you for including us on your journey, Kimberly. I stood in a long line to get my Compostela. It’s still rolled up in its tube. I came home to the fires of 2017 so quickly had to move on to life back here. I also find the stamps a more meaningful momento. I love the image of that little chapel. I didn’t know about it. I was able to attend 2 pilgrim masses with the incense which I don’t think is available with the reconstruction. The front of the Cathedral was covered in scaffolding in 2017. There is a good metaphor in just accepting all phases of our lives, especially the times of reconstruction when the outer is ‘not perfect ‘

  5. All brought tears to my eyes…your reasons for going, the fulfillment , all the photos that broadened the lives of those of us who journeyed at home though the sharing of both of you!! Now~”Beauty seen is never lost for the glories of these moments Spirit into your Souls has passed” Love and Blessing to both of you…journey on…It’s been a fun and special ride! Nydia

  6. Thank you Thank you❣️❣️❣️ for these wondrous walks with you —— no words can send you my joys —- my heart smiles and my Spirit sings May your transitions and return “home” be easy, simple and full of Love for all. Namaste

  7. Congrats!! I loved being a pilgrim in your pocket as you journaled about your experiences. And BAGPIPES!! Reminds me of the time you & I crashed the wedding in Paris and they were playing bagpipes in the church!! Love you!!

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