Bob has graciously consented to let me speak to you on his blog, and I would like to talk about how we have come to see for ourselves how the Camino serves as a metaphor for life. Life includes loss, and it seems people who walk the Camino are always loosing things. We leave stuff in the bathrooms when we leave an albergue, we leave stuff in the bars and restaurants where we have to eat, stuff falls out of our mochillas (backpacks) because they are always overloaded. Quite unexpectedly, though, I had lost nothing until yesterday, and I had taken smug comfort in that fact. After all, since we have to carry everything, we don’t carry duplicates of anything.
My good fortune ended when I discovered, as we were leaving a roadside breakfast stop, that I no longer had my sunglasses. They had been around my neck when we left Larrasoana before dawn, but they had vanished during our morning walk. Our thorough search was in vain; they were gone, and I had to begin dealing with my grief.
We resumed our walk and shortly came upon a XIII century church (open!) and went in to pray and read morning prayer together. Still seeking to console myself for my loss, I prayed to be released from my attachment. We finally returned to our mochillas outside on the ground where we had left them and I was stunned by a minor miracle: there, hanging on my backpack, were my sunglasses. I choose to believe in grace as a force in my life, and I choose to attribute the grace in this event to Santiago (St. James), the object of our walk today, who historically looks after and cares for his peregrinos.
Buen Camino to all of you.