Monday, 17 August 2009

Homeward Bound... Part Two

(August 1st to August 4th)

The next morning I was packed and, more or less “ready” to leave. But I was thinking about “my” Camino and the things I had learned. As I came out of the Alameda I noticed a familiar dog, with food and water close by. A friendly face exited the restaurant and said good morning. It was Pedro.

Now it is funny how we meet people on the Camino who somehow have lessons to teach us. I was actually thinking about Pedro as I left the Pension. And here he was! We shared a breakfast and he told me about his previous Caminos: one every year for seven years.

“Choose a stone”, he said as he produced a handful from his pocket. I chose one “Now choose another,” I was told, and then I chose between them. As it was I chose the one I had originally selected. Pedro then produced wire and a leather thong and made me a necklace I shall treasure forever – inscribed with a very delicate yellow arrow.

We bid each other farewell but of all the people I met on this Camino (with the notable exception of Fernanda) it is Pedro I shall remember most.

Now, I live in an enviable part of Spain, Marbella is the Monte Carlo of the Costa del Sol. But for me it is not the real Spain and I have known this for a long time; it is where I make my living and I am not complaining, but the simplicity of this man’s life really struck a chord in me. He says he will stay in Fisterre until December (perhaps the Solstice? – I didn’t ask) and then go home only to come back a year later. I could not but at some level-feel envious of his simple purpose: to be at the end of the world after such arduous walking (no refugios for pilgrims with animals.) Wherever you are Pedro, I wish you well. But you have no need of blessings from such as I.

O Lucky Man indeed!

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