To Finisterra continued……………..
A few km further along the way i came to a small church in the middle of the countryside.
The sanctuary of A Senora das Neves – i said more prayers here and planted yet more seeds.
I stayed a while, watching, as a man and i assume wife drove their cows from one field, down the track to another field before heading off, chatting as they went, for lunch at their nearby farm.
I stopped for lunch in a cafe in Cee.
The owner had been born in Cee but had lived for 35 years in London and had now returned to run the family bar. He still however felt that their was a gap in his life but couldn’t put his finger on what that was.
I felt compelled to give him the shell necklace i had made in Bristol and had been wearing ever since.
He said thank you and asked what it meant to me.
For me it meant ownership.
For him………….perhaps it would help him find his way.
It was i light necklace, but as i removed it……….it felt as though i was taking 2kg off my neck.
He gave me some Spanish Tortilla and some bread to take with me. His name was Joe! Thank you!
I found myself drifting off the Camino route as i went through Cee. I had ended up on a seafront walk instead.
A couple of older ladies stopped to tell me i was not on the camino and that ishould turn back.
I said that this was a nicer walk than walking on the road through the town.
“Yes, that’s true” they agreed.
“Can i get back to the camino if i carry on here”? i asked.
“Yes, you must go past a restaurant, over the beach ,up some steps then look for the road again” they explained.
As i carried on walking, i stopped to see a clover patch to my side. I asked out loud, ” will you finally give me some 4s ( i had been looking for 4 leaf clovers from day one, but found none ) now that i am close to the end”?
I got down on my hands and knees and began searching through the patch.
I found one!
A group of older ladies came by……….i held up the clover to one of the ladies. She thanked me enthusiasticly for the gift.
“Here you all are” i said as i found about 9 more 4s and a very young 5 leaf clover.
I carried on as per the ladies directions but i must have found the wrong road because i ended up on the coast road………….beautiful, but about 4km longer than i needed to walk. Never mind!
I finally reached Finisterra……………………tired!
I met some old friends there as well as some new.
I gave each of them a 4 leaf clover!
It was close to getting dark and i had things to do before that.
I got my last stamp and another Compostella certificate for reaching the end of the camino.
I then set off with another pilgrim to the beach where i knew the sun would set……….over the Atlantic.
As we approached my pace quickened as we talked…………i could see from the sun that we had perhaps 5 mins left before sunset.
We arrived at the beach! i gave my camera to my fellow pilgrom as i stripped off and ran to the sea.
The cleansing ritual would be combined with the setting of the sun…………………..Just!
My god it was cold!
When i arrived back at the Albergue, two of the pilgrims who had gone to the lighthouse to see the sun set ( as opposed to the beach ) had found a starfish along the way.
“For Grant” they had said together, they explained.
A gift of a star ( compostella ) from the end of the world!
18th Feb Finisterra – Literally!
Today i would walk the last few km to Faro de Finisterra – the lighthouse at worlds end!
I would say my last prayers of the journey and ceremonially burn something, normally your clothes but i thought it would be better to release the prayers by fire.
I took some photos of the 0.00 km way marker. 900km later.
I headed up to the cliff top.
This was were the ultimate power lay.
In the elements.
I was just starting to say the final prayers when my phone rang to indicate a message.
It was from a friend who had given me a prayer to carry, asking how things were going?
They told me not to burn their prayer.
I replied to them to “let it go and more will come, why do you want to hold on to it”?
“I’m not holding on, don’t burn it- bury it instead” they replied.
I felt a little annoyed………….i had carried the prayers all this way, i felt i was best placed to know how to conclude the journey.
Frodo Baggins carrying the ring to Mordor in The Lord of the Rings sprang to mind.
A surrogate mother unwilling to let go of the baby she had carried………. in order to help others.
THEY WERE MY PRAYERS! PRECIOUS!
My final lesson.
The ULTIMATE lesson.
On my very last step.
In the very last second.
At the very end of the world.
THE DEATH OF MY EGO!
They were not my prayers.
I simply carried them for others.
I was not important.
Insignificant in fact!
I have nothing of real value.
Except this moment.
Accept this moment.
Celebrate this moment.
I realised i had nothing of real value.
I had nothing to lose.
With nothing to lose,
I had nothing to fear.
I WAS FREE!
THE DEATH OF MY EGO HAD SET ME FREE!
Maybe just for a little while, but i had had a taste of the absolute peace of……………..
I buried all of the prayers in a plastic bag and pressed them into a gap between two horizontal rocks, facing the ocean. A snail stood guard over them!
The prayers would continue excude their energy for a good while yet.
I hadn’t got it right.
This was right!
Thank you Michele!
Finisterra – Santiago
As i boarded the bus for the return journey to Santiago, the rain finally began to fall, but not on me, i stayed dry…………..for the moment at least!
As i gazed out of the window of the coach – the roads i had walked, passed in a blur but in my minds i saw myself struggling under my heavy load out there in the rain, pressing on – ever on!
Finisterra – Costa de Morte ( Coast of Death ) .
Had something inside me died on the coast of death.
I think so…………at least briefly.
I had tasted Death.
Will it give life to something else…………..?
What did i learn?
Give freely and recieve gratefully, patience, courage, joy, love?
Peace and freedom come with letting go of the ego?
I won’t try to tell you the things that we must all find for ourself ………
I don’t know!
I am still finding my own way.
I pray we may we all walk in beauty and find our way in peace….Hozhoo naa naa!
I send my love to you!
I think it appropriate that the camino has the last word.
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH.
posted Sun Feb 21, 2010