As we descended steeply into the waterside village of Portomarin this afternoon, I mourned the loss of my Camino.
During the past several days, the quiet calm of the path has been interrupted often by large groups of walkers and bicyclists. Many seem to have just started their trek.
Sarria, where we began the day, marks the beginning for pilgrims who walk the minimum 100 kilometers (62 miles) to earn their compestela, or certificate of completion. Bicyclists must complete the final 200 kilometers.
But, my sense of loss due to the sudden surge of people was brief. My Camino? I know the Camino belongs to everyone. But, I still have my Camino, and today I realized what it is.
I look at the scallop shell, the symbol of the Camino, and see the important parts of life that come together in my heart.
I think of family, friends and so many incredible memories we share.
Sue and I have so much to look forward to. Watching our three sons and daughter-in-law in their young adult lives. Many, many good times with friends. More adventures together.
Also, the scallop shell will always remind me of this five-week Camino experience. The friends we have made. The amazing beauty of Spain. The Spanish people and culture.