Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Camino Begins...

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(hoisting the censor at the Santiago Cathedral)

 After spending more than a month blissfully in first gear, I have shifted into second gear after returning home Tuesday night.  In many ways, reaching Santiago marked - for me and my fellow pilgrms - the beginning of a new camino in life. How could it not?  After all, I walked in gratitude for the many gifts I have been given in 49 and a half years of life and with a spirit of openness to whatever lessons the Camino held for me.  And, the vast majority of pilgrims I talked with, even -and maybe especially- those who described their pilgrimage as "non-religious," were on the Camino searching for direction in life or seeking answers to some of life's ultimate questions. 

Anticipation started to build in the few days before we reached Santiago (St. James) as we journeyed ever closer to our destination.  And, a wonderful  thing occurred - most of the people who were significant to me on the Camino reappeared sometime during the last few days and attended the pilgrims' Mass at the Cathedral on All Saints Day.  Over the course of the Camino, I had met and had conversations with people from 30 countries and had gotten to know quite a few of them.  On the Camino, when you part ways with a fellow pilgrim, you never know whether you will see that person again because they might get a day or two or three ahead of you or behind you over the course of a month.  And, I lost contact with most of these fellow pilgrims at different points in the journey, but there they were, arriving in Santiago the same day I arrived. 

We arrived on All Hallows Eve, and a group of young American, Aussie, and Canadian pilgims decided to walk that last day in Halloween costumes.  One guy, an American snow board instructor, got pulled over by the police (no, not for speeding - he was travelling at no more than 3 miles an hour!) for dressing as a swimmer covered only by a speedo and his back pack. Mark, Bill, and I spent part of the last day's walk composing a song, which we entitled "Buen Camino" (Good journey).  Our first two performances the song - at a celebratory dinner with 13 other pilgrim's Halloween night and in front of the Cathedral a day later - met with rave reviews.  If I can figure out how to upload our Cathedral plaza performance onto Youtube, I will share it with you all.

As I mentioned in my last post, the Mass was incredible.  And, just as incredible, the self-declared "non-religious" pilgrims were just as interested in attending the Mass as the religious pilgrims.  After Mass, the scene was something like a graduation where people who had known each other for a few weeks were saying there goodbyes, getting pictures taken, making sure they had each others emails.  On Sunday night, Mark, Bill, and I had another celebratory dinner.  And, on Monday at the airport, I met a Swedish guy who had just finished the 500 miles of the Camino Frances on a unicycle.  

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Scaperlanda, Mike | Permalink

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