The JAD Family in Santiago, Galicia, Spain.
Our family finally arrived at the Cathedral in Santiago, completing our pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) and thus officially received our "Compostela" (peregrino certificate). James's Tevas sandals made it all the way without having to resort to using his emergency shoes--thanks to Compeed for protecting his blisters on both feet! Lou's new pair of boots from Pamplona did really well and she actually made it to Santiago! Adrian was totally tired but came out in the best shape--no blisters. The Cathedral in Santiago was filled with thousands of pilgrims celebrating, singing, and giving thanks for completing their pilgrimage. The mass in the Cathedral was completely magical, a wonderful and meaningful ending to a journey that started with a moving mass at the Roncesvalles church in the Pyrenees. The Santiago Cathedral reminded me of what a medieval cathedral must have been like: a market place, circus, financial center, celebration, politics, and a social center.
As I write this in Madrid, I look back on the Camino and feel humbled for having engaged in a long meditation and a break from our modern life. We really liked the simplicity of life on the Camino, the amazing ORGANIC food served with the meals (we ate LOTS but lost weight and got in shape...how amazing is that?), the pulpo (octopus) and fresh seafood in Galicia, the abundance of WINE, the claras after a long day of hiking, and being "out of touch" with the modern world. We met one Filipino from Aklan (also a professor!), several Korean and Japanese Catholics, Germans, Italians, French, Canadians, Russians, Belgians, Dutch, a Puerto Rican, an Argentine, Irish, English and of course Spaniards. Although most peregrinos were young (less than 40), there were many folks who were in their 50s and 60s. Lou liked the "anonymity" of being a "peregrina"--we didn't have to explain who we were or what we did. People knew by looking at our scallop shells and backpacks that we were peregrinos, we were pilgrims.
Peace and metta, and, most of all, Buen Camino.
Espana, Summer 2010
©James Sobredo 2010