Waking up at 4 am to catch a taxi to the airport seemed appropriate. That’s Pilgrim time after-all, and Santiago de Compostela was calling.
A little Planes, Trains and Automobiles to get to Sarria via Lugo but its the journey that kicks off the adventure. And this one will be completely different than last time. For so many reasons.
Its funny but as much as I’m so much better prepared for this Camino than the last time, its still emotional starting out. First off, I’m missing Emilie today. She and I did this together over 36 days and I’ve never walked this before without her. I’m surprised it feels so strange. Yet it does
But this time I can speak to the taxi driver and the information booth in Espanol. I know how to navigate time tables and how buses and trains work. So the administivia isn’t an issue. I’m wearing my trusty boots that took me over mountains and across 800 km. So its like traveling with an old and trusted friend. And I have the boot charms I wore the last time to remind that I can do anything I set my mind to.
Then there is the sitting in the Santiago bus station seeing Pilgrims ending their Caminos. They look healthy and clear. Like they’ve been cracked wide open from the experience. I remember that feeling and the sense of freedom that came with it. Like flying.
But there is something else in the air. Pilgrims just starting out in new gear with that air of uncertainty. They’re all quiet, whispering, looking around. Checking and rechecking their gear. Clinging to the only things they have brought with them from home. This time I’m not concerned with my gear. Secure in the fact that I can get anything I might have forgotten along the way.
But for Jeff, this is all new and I’ve enjoyed watching him prepare. His head on a swivel as he’s taking it all in. He lifted my pack at the airport.
‘Wow! Yours is nothing compared to mine. Are you sure you brought everything?’
I just smiled. I wanted to say ‘Yes and No. I haven’t brought everything. But I brought everything I need.’ But I don’t say that. He will have to learn this lesson on his own.
And so our Camino has begun. And already its speaking to me. Differently than last time but just as loudly, nonetheless. Old lessons remembered and new ones to come. Important ones, I’m very sure.