(Map with handwritten notes from our lovely, lovely receptionist)
This morning we left Santiago de Compostela, and the sun shone for the first time since we arrived. Although we have great rain gear on the bike, we can’t wear it window shopping or going out for dinner (they stare at us if we walk around in our helmets). So we got wet, a lot, in the last two days.
(Old gate in the original walls of the city)
Santiago is a very, very old city. The story goes, it all started in 40 AD when the body of James, one of the apostles, was brought here after he had been beheaded in Jerusalem. It was a long and arduous journey by land and sea and up the river to the place where Santiago de Compostela is today. Years later, around 800 AD, a hermit told the local bishop that he’d seen a field of stars (Compostela….) and that he believed it pointed to the burial place of St. James. I think together they found the bones. Anyway, word spread to King Alphonse (the second, I think) who lived in Oviedo. Now at the time he was having a few problems with the Moors and word of the stars was the last thing he needed. But he set off on the long journey to Santiago to see the bones. (We, ourselves took the same journey last Saturday. Well, when I say the “same”, I mean we left one city and arrived over time in the other. There are a few extra motorways and roads on stilts since Alphonse’s time and we had the benefit of an internal combustion engine, but we were very tired and wet all the same.) And he was the first one to do the Camino. He provided the money to build the cathedral for the pilgrims who would follow his footsteps. There is a place underneath the altar where they put the saints bones.
(Wall where I left the camera for a moment and it took a picture…)
As always I went along to the tourist office to get some brochures in English. As I was waiting I noticed a huge map on the wall, called The Ways of the Camino. It shows the many ways to Santiago. And it’s a bit like “all roads lead to..”, Santiago de Compostela. SO after I got a brochure about the Camino, I asked about the big map and way down the back there was a basket of them and the nice lady gave me one – free! It’s a bit big……
(More arches – handy for the rain)
So then I was thinking…. about journeys people take. And it seems that the Camino is a kind of a metaphor for the life journeys. There was the King – Alphonse, up to his neck in problems and yet he follows his heart to Santiago. It wasn’t a good time for him to follow his heart…. but he did.
Then there’s really no “good” time to follow your heart. Because…… You’ll never have the time. You’ll never have the money. You’ll never have the information. You’ll never have the necessary credentials. You’ll never have the courage. You’ll never have the freedom ……
Well, you won’t…. unless you DO follow your heart! And I bet it was the same for Alphonse, and look at him now, in all the books and statues all over the place.
(Higgley Piggley streets)
You only ever need “just enough”. Just enough time, just enough money, just enough information, just enough credentials, just enough courage, just enough freedom.
Have you got “just” enough? Imagine for a moment – you have just enough of what you need to follow your heart…… What would it take for you to make the shift, (the internal earthquake of your belief system) to believing you can follow your heart……. Imagine, you believing such a thing……. and all was well….. and all remains well…..
There might even be a statue in it for you!
Be well, Buenas Noches, Buenas Dias, Mairead.