I did not fall asleep easily last night. An unusual feeling numbed me and I could not understand what was it’s cause. Confused thoughts rambled through my mind. Had I come this far only to somehow not finish the walk? Was I in some limbo from which there was no escape? Would I never wake up if I did manage to fall asleep? Had I eaten something at dinner to befuddle my brain?
Tonight I understand what troubled me. Last night was my last night on a Camino that I had become familiar with. Today I walked into Sarria and my world has changed, as though suddenly the sky turned green and changed the color of everything.
In Sarria begins the final 100 kilometer March to Santiago. Many pilgrims start their journey in Sarria and complete their Camino in 5 or 6 days. New and strange faces have appeared. Conversations are different. I went to the pilgrim’s mass and the priest did not show up. Strange turns of events! The sky is green.
Sarria marks the start of my journey back to the “real world”. My life as a pilgrim, as short and sweet as it was, will soon be over. The pilgrim does not want to return to that world he has escaped, but has no choice. It is like birth. But it is also a rebirth: an awakening from an odyssey of self-examination with the realization that every tiny learning was a gift. And so, the trek from here onwards is just as important as any other stage of the Camino.
Let me mention the Camino family. From the first day, you begin meeting people. All kinds of people: single, pairs, flocks, young, old, men, women, people who talk too much, people who teach you, people who make you laugh and on and on. Some of these people you see over and over, in the towns, in the hostels, mostly walking the trail. Others have a quick pace and disappear into the distance; some are slower and you wonder what became of them; some drop out for various reasons. But as you reach the end, you have an idea of who your Camino family is. Some may be a day or two ahead or behind in reaching Santiago, but you have come to know them. Yet as close as your friendship may have developed, you realize that at the end, all go different ways to different lives. Yet we share a common bond.
And now I begin to yearn for my own family. The family that cheered me on in this quixotic quest. Paula leaves the States for Madrid today and I cannot wait to be with her. There is so much more to share with her, slowly, over time. And with JP and Jen, Jack and Michael. And the whole gang!
And Paula and I will be creating new shared experiences as we travel Spain with Lisa and John and visit with Paula and Juan Miguel in Madrid. But now it is time for this pilgrim to go to bed. I don’t think I will have any trouble sleeping tonight.
EPILOG from previous post: Tizona
6 thoughts on “Green Sky”
Counting the days!!
What a story Jim…. Difficult to find the words, but what a lucky man you are.
Never give up. Never surrender!
What a beautifully written chapter tonight… I really appreciate how the Camino has provided a contemplative chrysalis to take care and comfort in as you move forward in step with fellow pilgrims and the beat of your soul. I know you’ll have patience with the newbies as they begin their abbreviated but determined mini pilgrimages… you will enjoying knowing that you achieved *efi* soon!
Two things I love do every afternoon, play & share wordle with my brother and read Jim’s Camino posts. A grand adventure for sure, friend! Sending ❤️ love.