Thursday, July 12, 2012


These were Susan’s words sent to me via a text message when she, Gerda and Esther reached the ‘end of the earth’, Finisterre, where their pilgrimage ended.  Their Camino was filled with many happy events and new friends made along the way.  They have since taken the bus back to Santiago to rendezvous with the other hikers before their return. Karin and I watched via a webcam when they gathered on the plain in front of the cathedral this morning, and although the quality of the image was poor, we saw them waving and dancing! 

Esther, Gerda, Emilene, Eddie and Susan in Santiago this morning

Gerda, Emilene and Susan dancing for the webcam so we could see them

Today, Emilene’s 50th birthday, was supposed to be the end of her Camino.  But her feet wouldn't stop walking when she heard that her husband was waiting for her in Santiago and she hastily ended her pilgrimage yesterday afternoon!  Despite suffering physical hardships, my friend found the courage necessary to persist and complete the gruelling 800 km.  From her posts and photos I deduct that she has managed to make many friends on ‘The Way'.

Emilene receiving her Compostela at the Pilgrims Office in Santiago

Eddie also hiked to Finisterre after reaching Santiago last week.  Physically he had no problems and pushed himself to do up to 40 km a day and still had enough strength to carry a hiking companion's backpack for a couple of kilometres.  He too returned to Santiago yesterday.

I can’t help but wonder how this journey, also called ‘The Way of St James, or simply ‘The Way’, as in the movie with the same title, has affected them?  From observing this journey over the last couple of weeks it seemed somewhat like life condensed into a couple of weeks.  Bound together by their struggles and hardships to reach a common goal, hikers make friends across the barriers of different nationalities, languages, age etc. I know some have learnt that we tend to carry too much luggage with us in life and we can happily live with a lot less.  All of us get unexpected aches and pains along the way.  This is part of our journey and we must learn to handle it with patience, taking a rest day when necessary.  Perhaps a pain or two is needed to help us to grow more compassionate and understanding of those who suffer constant pain because of disease.  But I’m simply speculating here, for the Camino is a unique experience for everyone, teaching every pilgrim the lessons they need most.

Congratulations to Eddie, Gerda, Esther, Susan and Emilene on successfully completing your Caminos.  Thank you all for spreading the word about MSA - you were all worthy MSA warriors!  

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love getting messages - drop us a line.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...