My wife Jennifer and I returned to Santiago from Portugal this afternoon, (tomorrow we return to Australia), and of course I wandered down to the Cathedral to take a last look.
I spoke to several pilgrims who had just come in – some had struck bad weather (snow and lots of rain days), others had a clear run.
It was wonderful to watch their faces as they walked into the square. It reminded me of the moment I did the same, over two weeks ago now. I also watched the camaraderie between pilgrims – obviously bonds that had formed over many miles and much hardship and joy.
Wave upon wave of pilgrims arrive each day. From Iceland, Brazil, Australia, from all over the world. Many, when asked, say it was the film “The Way” that spurred them to do the walk. But I suspect there’s something much deeper running underneath it all.
This is a movement. This is a social phenomenon. This is more than just a bunch of religious or spiritually minded retirees and young adventurers heading off to Spain to do a walk. There is something more profound happening here.
People are asking questions that their current lives can’t answer. They walk the Camino to seek those answers.
The Way listens to the questions they ask. And sometimes it might take a while, but The Way always seems to get back to them with some answers.
(Below is my last photo taken at last light on my last day in Santiago.)