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31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 27 - Perhaps

Tonight at book club, a young woman came to tell us about her trip to Spain and her travels along the Camino de Santiago. She and a lifelong friend spent 21 days walking an average of 15 miles a day. She brought along a scalllop shell, the symbol of the trail, because, as legend goes, St. James' coffin washed up on shore after a terrible storm, covered in scallop shells.

As she talked about how meaningful her journey was, I thought, perhaps I could do that one day. She told of the Sunday she sat in a small church, at the same time of day as her church family was sitting in church, and a song that is often a part of our service started playing in that church in Spain. She said it was so powerful knowing that thousands of miles away, people were hearing the same song and prayer for her as she made this journey.

Perhaps I could have that experience, to know that I'm not alone, that thousands of miles away, people are with me on a journey of a lifetime.

She also told of a part of the trail where you are encouraged to toss a rock that you have carried along the journey with you. People bring rocks from their homes as a symbol of what burdens or hopes they are carrying on this pilgrimage. You toss those rocks as an embodiment of tossing your cares or of making a wish. She told of how for the rest of the trip, they simple enjoyed the journey. After tossing the rock, they had realized their dream of self-discovery and walked knowing they would never be the same.

I hope I get the opportunity to travel to Spain and experience this pilgrimage. Perhaps I'll do it for my 60th birthday or perhaps I'll wait a little longer and use it as a launch pad for retirement. Perhaps when it happens, I too will be transformed by the experience.


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