There’s a little back spot on the sun today. It’s the same old thing as yesterday. The Police 1983
Now that I’ve let go of my camino this year and mourned it for the last month I am ready to re-enter life as a Pilgrim. Now I can begin to look to the future and plan my camino for 2021.
In many ways this is a good thing. 2021 is a holy year on the camino. What this means is that the Feast of St. James, July 25th, falls on a Sunday. So roughly every 7 years is a holy year for pilgrims. My own feast day is September 29th for Saint Michel or Saint Michael whose holy year will next fall in 2024. Plenty of time for me to plan the party right?!
A lot of pilgrims are very excited to walking during a holy year. On my first camino in 2019 I didn’t even think about whether or not it was a holy year. In fact it didn’t even bother me too much that I would not have a chance to attend the pilgrims’ mass in the Cathedral of Santiago because they were doing interior renovations. When I planned my now postponed 2020 camino I realized I had scheduled myself to arrive in Santiago on a Sunday well after the noon time of the mass. I was only moderately disappointed, but since I had already made all my reservations what else could I do? Cancelling the camino opened up the possibility of doing things differently in 2021.
I bought a new map of 🇪🇸 Spain and made myself some “dots” to mark my path and stuck the first dot on Santiago de Compostela. Then I got my calendar and decided to arrive on Saturday, October 9th. Coincidently I arrived in Santiago on October 9th on my first camino. Serendipitous
I will arrive in plenty of time to attend mass on Sunday and with any luck I will also get to experience the botafumeiro, the incense burner used at the pilgrims’ mass. Botafumeiro is the Galician word for the incense expeller or for those of you with high church backgrounds, the thurible. Actually it’s more than just a thurible, it’s a thurible on steroids. A typical thurible is about 12 inches tall. The botafumeiro, in contrast, weighs 176 pounds and is 5.2 feet tall. Click here to see a video.
I am resolved that this will not just be a repeat of last year. This will be an opportunity to test my spirit as I travel by myself. I can return to favorite places and check out new points along the camino. I can take as long as I want to arrive in Santiago because last year I learned that Santiago will be waiting for me.