Like cocoons hanging from the branches of a tree, the world is starting to twitch. Nothing big. Just signs of life that the great hibernation caused by the pandemic might be coming to a close somewhere just over the horizon.
No, we didn’t yet get that big shipment of vaccines in Spain, ensuring we will all be protected by Friday. But they are telling us millions will be here in the next couple weeks. And in March the big wave of vaccinations are due to wash up on our shores. Good news. But that’s not why I’m filled with personal hope.
Today our Emilie will be the first person we personally know who will have received the vaccine. I know, it seems strange since she’s 19 years old and her college job in the US at a sporting goods store is facilitating her getting the jab. But she’s my daughter. And by this time in a month she will get her second shot and be fully protected. One kid down. Two more to go.
I woke up this morning and I saw this in the local Valencian news. (You can use the translation function embedded in your browser to read in your preferred language) I’m taking it as a sign on Emilie’s vaccination day. A good, hopeful sign. Em is my Camino buddy. We walked the entire Way together in 2017. And 2021 is a holy year for Santiago de Compostela. July 25th falls on a Sunday. The day of St. James. In normal years this would mean even more Peregrinos (Pilgrims) would walk to Santiago. With the pandemic it will be unlike any other holy year. But even Valencia is in the spirit this year.
The photo of the blue background with the familiar yellow arrow made me click on the article. Lord knows I’ve searched for those arrows in the dark along The Way. Both literally and metaphorically. And this year, of all years, the yellow arrow seems to take on even more significance.
Leaving on the Camino Levante from Valencia Cathedral is an 1,100 km journey. Three hundred kilometers more than Emilie and I walked starting in St Jean pied-de-port in France. And that seems right, too. This year getting to Santiago will take more effort. Sometimes, these days it feels like just getting out of bed is a Camino unto itself.
I had already started making my ‘Hope List’ for post-Covid times. Places I want to go. Things I want to do. People I want to see. Maybe Iceland again. The Scandinavian countries. Fly fishing in Scotland. Another glass of that amazing rose’ in Avignon under the shade of the plane trees. Our family tradition of The Capilano suspension bridge at Christmas in Vancouver with all the twinkly lights showing the way across that deep canyon in the dark. And seeing our kids after more than a year of being apart is at the top of that list.
Who knows, perhaps we could combine a couple of things and all meet in Scotland or Iceland. But either way, the prospect of being together has me smiling this morning. I realized, after seeing that arrow on the Cathedral, I’ve been lost for awhile now. Searching in vain for which way to go. But it was there all along.
And hearing Em will have a card stating she is inoculated means she can travel. It will mean Spain will allow her in and she could come here. And maybe by summer she and I could safely take a little walk together. Walking a road we both know. A well worn path taken by so many before us. Just following the arrows to find our way home, together. At last.