“When you travel you take something with you and you leave something behind.”
I’ve changed every time I’ve faced personal challenges such as marriage, motherhood, living in a new country, death of my parents, but the biggest life-changing experience for me was when I walked on The Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Though I didn’t have dreams like Shirley MacLaine
Through a range of astonishing and liberating visions and revelations, Shirley MacLaine saw into the meaning of the cosmos, including the secrets of the ancient civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria, insights into human genesis, the essence of gender and sexuality, and the true path to higher love.
I learned to face my fears of the unknown and to believe in myself.
I didn’t feel I’d completed the pilgrimage when I reached the Cathedral in Santiago. Though the church service for pilgrims was a thrilling experience and a proud moment for me, it was too crowded, as was the city of Santiago which is overflowing with pilgrims, tourists, and souvenirs [!].
I needed a quiet place to reflect on what I’d achieved.
I took a bus ninety miles further west to Finisterre, a rock-bound peninsula on the west coast of Galicia where the Camino ends.
In the Middle Ages those who ended their pilgrimage at Finisterre believed those rocks were at the edge of the world. It must have been a terrifying experience to go there.
Some people celebrate the completion of their pilgrimage at Finisterre with a personal ceremony where they burn their clothes or leave their boots behind.
When I hiked out past the lighthouse onto the cliff and looked out over the huge expanse of ocean, I didn’t need to burn my clothes or leave my boots behind to know I’d completed a life-changing journey.
I felt the presence of the countless pilgrims who’d sat on that windy rock before me, and enveloped by an enormous sense of accomplishment, and pride, an inner peace such as I’d never known before filled my heart.
For previous posts on my pilgrimage to Santiago, go to TRAVEL POSTS at the top of my blog, and look under SPAIN.
This week’s WordPress photo challenge is Change.