Lessons from the Road: A Pilgrim´s Diary
The last day on the road, as we were walking towards Santiago de Campostella, we were sad. We were sad not only because our journey was about to come to an end soon but also, in part, because we expected a better welcome in the city towards which we had been walking for all this while. The locals didn’t seem really excited to see pilgrims making towards their final goal.
Quite contrary to the smaller villages along the Camino, where locals would cheer pilgrims and receive them with open arms, in Santiago, it seemed as if they couldn’t care less that you made it so far! Here, you were just another pilgrim among those thousands visiting the city everyday. A fellow pilgrim, who was equally hurt by the cold reception by locals in Santiago, found refuge in her own interpretation of their such behaviour. According to her, “places like Santiago are visited by millions of people every year and each one of these pilgrims takes with him some of the positive energy from the place, leaving the people living around those places with little positive energy!” I am not sure if there was any truth in that explanation but I personally always believed that a pilgrim, in fact, brings more positive energy to the shrine s/he is visiting. It is indeed the power of this faith in a pilgrimage that contributes to the divinity of a shrine. Having said that, I could not deny feeling unwelcome in the city. Continue reading →