And within this 33rd day of travel, I knew there would never be anything like this to cross my life path again – there would never be anyway to accurately articulate this experience to anyone unless they’d choose to travel here and set one foot in front of the other based on some internal tug. This would be a bond I’d share with a very select few and a journey that would evidently have a greater sustaining impact long after reaching the steps of the Cathedral at Santiago.
I had thought little of my mother and her passing on the week of Mother’s Day yet now I was getting the impression that finally she understood me, my life’s calling and the enormous drive I have to create and experience every drop of adventure this life has to offer. For now she was viewing it all from a different vantage point. I thought about her right at the beginning of the morning for as I stared at my misshapen feet, they were now exact carbon copies of how I remember hers looking throughout the years – swollen, short-toed – ankles filled with fluid. What was it she’d do to get that swelling to go down – elevate them? That would have to wait as I had 2 more days of walking before me.
Made a morning stop in Arzua, a fairly large town just 5 kilometers away from last night’s alburgue. Time for a quick coffee, banana and a piece of toast.
About 80% of the 23 kilometers today was level, wooded area and I got the sense to slow and savor it just a bit. After all, tomorrow I’ll wind up at a cathedral as my destination and there will probably be a great deal of activity to follow. This would be my last simple Camino walk day – my last chance to listen and absorb any messages that were trying to make their way to my heart in a distraction free time frame.
But I seemed to simply walk in a deep silence, my mind emptying and occasionally traveling to the future and how would I process all this once I got home.
So lost in thought was I, that I took the long way into Arco and had to circle back to the municipal alburgue.
Like the papers indicated, it was a monstrous place – more prison like than architecturally memorable or distinctive. The weather had turned a bit cool and damp and I decided to forego washing clothes and simply shower and repack everything for an early departure tomorrow.
Turns out Barbara from California had gotten ill this morning and chose to take a cab for part of the way. We eventually met for dinner and again, on a full stomach and a growing anxiousness, I willed myself to bed as early as possible for the final day.