Sunday, two days until I fly back to the States. Hard to imagine two months has passed - blink and it is gone.
And here I sit, one last time, in Rovinj, Croatia wrapping up my European visit.
Rovinj, where I started this amazing spiritual sojourn. Surrounded by the incredible beauty and calm of this medieval Adriatic town, wrapped in the energies which started this 5 year Camino I have been experiencing, I am home.
Summer 2011, the knowledge I would walk my first Camino became a force directing me toward the walk of a lifetime, the Camino Frances. That it would not occur until the fall of 2014 was simply the Universe in action. It occurred when it was meant to occur - as is the case when we let the Universe work.
As many of you are aware, this powerful soul knowledge I was to walk was unquestionable. That the first Camino would lead to a hike in Patagonia, a Camino along the Via Francigena and this last walk,the Camino Portuguese, certainly was nowhere on my agenda when those first synchronicities, those first whisperings of the Universe, began in 2011.
Yet, here I am in my final two days back where it began; back in my European home of Rovinj.
A perfect place to reflect.
The question most asked over these last few days, since the completion of my walk, is simply
“ How did it feel walking into Santiago a second time? I imagine it must have been a very different experience.”
Yes, the completion of my Camino Portuguese, my 360 kilometers (give or take a few) was indeed different. Entry to Praca Cervantes in Santiago de Compostela in 2014 brought forth powerful emotions. Tears of joy, physical exhaustion, immense elation, were uncontrollable. It is a moment in time forever locked in my heart, and soul.
This year, my entry to Praca Cervantes, the plaza with its signature fountain which greets pilgrims walking in from five separate Caminos to Santiago, was calm. Peace settled on my heart as I gazed around, expecting a wellspring of emotion once again.
No, the tears were nowhere to be found. The overwhelming emotion of two years ago was replaced with quiet, peaceful, soulful calm.
A simple knowledge that I was done drew my breath as I gazed down the street which would lead me toward the Cathedral - the official end of the journey.
In the past 10 days since walking into Santiago, I have found myself consciously giving thought as to why the ending of this particular Camino seems so... I don’t even know the correct word to use... neutral, perhaps. Not negative- not positive, joyful or saddened - simply, neutral. Peaceful, calm, quiet, settled…. Neutral. Balanced. Balanced might be a better word. No sense of ecstatic joy- no sense of bittersweet sadness -at the completion, but rather, balance.
Time alone on this walk has been plentiful. The greatest lesson: recognizing that I am truly content to be on my own - my company with myself is perfect. When those ‘alone’ moments in time arise, I can now welcome them.
Sitting solo at a sidewalk cafe, my glass of wine or morning cafe con leche in hand,watching the people come and go...now, this seems perfectly natural…. No sense of awkward… odd.
This Camino has been my lesson in finding happiness and peace within myself - wholly, fully, completely. I am enough.
In the coming home to Rovinj, the final ribbon on the gift of this journey, I am complete.
The same salted air; breezes blowing gentle as I climb the hill to stand in the shadow of Saint Euphemia’s tower; energies of over a thousand years of history swirling - energies which gave rise to this five year journey I have traveled - wrap me snug. They whisper that I have done well -- I have listened. I have learned. My circle, for now, is complete.
They whisper “ Go home now”
I can leave.