Santiago de Compostela – Madrid – Prag
I woke up into the last morning of my journey. It was like the morning after night in a pub. A slight hangover of sadness and a vague feeling that I maybe made it all up … I wanted to go through the centre for the last time on my way to the bus stop. I had three more wishes in my heart. I believe that Lord wanted to please me after all the goodbyes, and he fulfiled all of them. I was like a little princess with a broken knee who has got a gold patch with roses on the wound :).
I really wished to pray for the last time in the St. Francesco church, which I had seen only from outside few days ago. However, this gate was closed again in the morning. I stood there wondering when the churches in Spain were actually open. Either it is too early in the morning or it is a siesta. But suddenly I heard a groaning noise of the door to be open.
I couldn’t believe it. I immediately told the man what a miracle it is for me. He glanced at his watch and aswered with a shy smile that it was 10 am, so he just did his job and opened it :). Well, even a porter can be a part of a miracle :). Nuns welcomed me warmly inside. After a few prayers I had to go, but I was very pleased to be there. Again, I was approaching the cathedral, thinking that somebody told me I would hear bagpipes on every corner in Galitia, and I had seen them only once… And this wish came true too. I heard a bagpipe sound from out of one archway.
The player was she and she was really good. Hurray! Now the way to the bus stop was much happier. It is true, that before I came there, I was swallowing tears again. The bus that was about to run every half an hour did not go, people with suitcases and backpacks were pushing each other on the sidewalk, and some began to take taxis because there were some bus strikes in the country and nobody was sure. At that moment Clara and Chris appeared in front of me!
It was no longer possible to hold the tears at all. It was my last wish before leaving Spain… to meet somebody from camino … And what was really funny is, that after I sat in my bus, which accualy came!!, Clara and Chris met our Japanese friend Mutsuhika around the corner :).
At the airport, I took the last hard step through the check-in zone, which I had to do only by myself and the plane had swallowed me.
I was sitting next to a South American lady who tried to speak with me before landing. She new about five English words. She tried to explain me who and where she has visited in Spain. Half of the things and names I did not understand but I just nodded in beliefe that she would not try to explain it again. In the end, however, I realized that she was really nervous about catching her next plane in Madrid (which was ten minutes later than mine) and finding the gate. I promised to help her. She ran out of the plane, and she kept turning around, persuading me to go faster and help her find the gate. She found out the gate number by herself, and I only led her then. It was not as easy as when I flew here. I was quite relieved when she ran off to her gate waving with her fly ticket on a steward.
I have to admit that, even though I was slowly reconciling that this is the real end of my pilgrimage, in my melancholic mind emotions are often stronger than the reason. I had full head of thouhgts that it was the most interesting time of my life, and now I must only live a gray, boring life till the end… Just as I know that when we take the kids on a long trip, where they are screaming that it is the worst day of their lives and the next day is all right, I knew I just need time and my perceptions would change. But God was quicker, he took care of me every single moment.
After a few meters I met another desperate woman who needed a help, and I knew my life is not ending . That Jesus is not finished with me and has other plans with me, that there is still a lot of people whom he wants to help through me and encourage them!
With a new energy, and at that moment, pushed already by time, I started to run to the gate they wrote on my boarding pass when I got out of the plane. It was like the arrows game. I tryed to follow them but I had a big problem finding it. It was far. The gates alternated with many shops, the arrows led from left to right and vice versa. When I finally found my gate, it was empty. I found the nearest information desk and they sent me half way back. I’ve just came on time…
I waved to Madrid, which, unlike Santiago, was sunny and I was home early. Jirka was waiting for me at the airport with a very nice welcome present. He knew how angry I was that the Spaniards did not know the words caffé latté and every time they brought me a small cup of coffee, luckily with milk. We drove home where a wonderful welcome was waiting for me every step I went. Again I felt like a little girl comming from a summer camp weaping for her friends and missing them. They all welcomed me, asked how was the journey, but I just wanted to cry.
But the truth is, that besides, I have also been very enthusiastic about new things, singing and new projects. Right from the second day, I started to have rehearsals with my music bands, packing and preparing for the English camp. I even received a new microphone as a surprise and I’m looking forward to record a new song as soon as possible. Through my family, friends, and these things, my old world began to get in shape again before my eyes. I felt like I landed from Mars. I started to sing again, sit behind the steering wheel, ride a bicycle, cook in my kitchen … it was as strange as to do it for the first time, and yet it was a well-known routine. I also had a terrible craving to wear a nice dress, because I had only a few pieces of clothing on my camino. Most women wore nice dress when going to the city in the afternoon after the all day walk. Surely the few extra grams in my backpack will not make a problem the next time :).
Somebody said that the Journey is better than the real life. Yes, the truth is that it takes a few days to land again on the ground, but without the reality that you leave here and find again on the same place, it would lose its charm. When I answer the questions about the pilgrimage what was so special about it, I think that I was able to meet with them after years at home and with children. You will arrive on the pilgrimage as an unsigned sheet. No one knows you, no expectations, prejudices, no one knows your weaknesses. Everybody takes you as you are here and now … and I feel like I was. As pilgrims may never meet, it is natural for them to share their worries and dreams, and others encourage them to do so freely. I know it might sound strange to many, but it helped me a lot, as everyone encouraged me to sing. I introduced myself as a singer who is looking for her new way of singing on the Path after twelve years at home with children. But none of them have seen me like a mother who is exhausted, she is able to sleep anywhere, she does not remember anything, she has a brothel at home that paralyzes her and one child hangs on each limb. They perceived me the way I perceived myself at that moment, and it gave me a huge charge. Just try to think if you are keeping such a secret dream out of the neighborhood just because they would laugh at you …!
Through my family, friends, and these things, my old world began to materialize again before my eyes. I felt like I was coming from Mars. Start singing again, sit behind the wheel, ride a bicycle, cook in my kitchen … it was as strange as to do it for the first time, and yet it was a well-known routine. I also had a terrible craving to wear clothes, because I had only a few pieces of clothing and clothes were definitely not. Most women on the pilgrimage but in the afternoon went to the city for the ladies. Surely the few extra grams in my backpack will give me the next :).
I have heard that the Journey is better than the real life. Yes, the truth is that it takes a few days to land again on the ground, but without the reality that you will go on the road and where you will return, it would lose its charm. When I answer the questions about the pilgrimage and why the people were so special, I think that I was able to meet myself. You arrive on the pilgrimage as a blank sheet. No one knows you, no expectations, prejudices, no one knows your weaknesses. Everybody takes you as you are here and now … and I feel that was ME. As you may never meet the pilgrims again, it is easier to share your worries and dreams, and others encourage you to do it. I know it might sound strange, but it helped me a lot as everyone encouraged me to sing. I introduced myself as a singer who is searching for her new way after twelve years at home with children. But none of them have seen me like a mother who is exhausted, that is able to sleep anywhere, does not remember anything, has a mess everywhere at home that paralyzes her and that has one child hanging on each limb. They perceived me the way I perceived myself at that moment, and it gave me a huge charge. Just try to think, maybe you are also hiding a secret dream so that noone could see it just because they would laugh at you …!
Suddenly I felt like I could do everything. I can not influence the fact that I have to leave my new friends. But it’s a lot of things that I can influence, or at least I can try to get a little closer to my dreams!