My second arrival in Santiago. October 9th, 2021

One month ago today I walked into Santiago de Compostela. It was a very different experience from two years ago. Then I stood before the cathedral and…felt nothing. It wasn’t until the next day when a woman working in the Pilgrim’s Office spelled my name wrong on my Compostela that I felt something big. I looked at my misspelled name and the full impact of having walked 500 miles hit me like a great rushing wind. Thankfully it was no problem to issue me a new Compostela.

This year I hurried through the outskirts of Santiago carefully watching for those yellow arrows to find my way to the plaza so I could see Santiago gazing down from the cathedral. And when I stood there looking up I was seized with this thought…

I made it! I’m here!

That moment repeated itself the next day when my friend Viv and I went to the Pilgrim’s Mass in the cathedral. We waited in a long line outside the cathedral for an hour and a half. At 11:00 am the doors opened to allow us entry for the noon mass. We wended our way through the cold cathedral and suddenly upon turning a corner there was the center of the church.

I made it! I’m here!

The Botofumeiria
The Altar
Saint James/Santiago

After walking for 51 days I am here in the cathedral where the legendary bones of Saint James are buried. I have been processing what all this means to me. I haven’t made much progress but every day I pull out various memories of my time on the camino and try to sort it all out within my heart and soul. I do know my walk has made me different.

Two years ago, just a few weeks into my walk I knew I wanted to walk the Camino Frances again and I wanted to walk it alone. This time as I entered Santiago I sensed I had done what I came to do. Five days later I felt the pull of the pilgrim’s walk again. Maybe it’s because this time as I made it into Santiago I was in shape to walk the camino unlike when I started. But I sense it is deeper. This pilgrimage changes me every time and I believe there is still more within me to change.

Buen Camino

Published by michelleperram

I am me, a person with love for others, a passion to be creative, and a desire to be a cheerleader for others. I’m a wife, a mommy, and a grandma (you can call me by my grandma name “Lady M”). I’m on a search to grow and connect more fully with God. I didn’t grow up particularly church, married a man who had, and we raised our three daughters in the church. I found a place to belong in the church and somehow discerned a call to go to seminary. I received a Masters of Arts and Religious Communication (MARC). I went on to become ordained as a deacon in the United Methodist Church and served in media ministry and Christian education. As clergy I found that I didn’t have a place to belong in the church so I left the United Methodist Church in 2010. I still believe and I’m still on a quest to draw closer to God. And I’m going to walk the Camino de Santiago.

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