I departed Boston-Logan airport 2 weeks ago today; and although they have been the most physically trying 2 weeks of my life, I am amazed at what I have experienced.
* I saw my first olive tree and my first fig tree
* I have experienced several small town fiestas and even a mini running of the bulls
* I've met people from Germany, Ireland, Australia, the UK, Mexico, Cuba, France, Spain, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, Korea, Canada, Brazil, Madagascar, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Philippines, Denmark, New Zealand, and Russia. Each night is a different global village.
*Ive spent 2hrs sitting in the most beautiful plaza outside a grand cathedral on a perfect afternoon with a Pepsi and a dark chocolate cookie, and had the best afternoon €2.50 can buy.
*Ive walked through vineyards and crops of sunflowers, turnips, onions, cauliflower, olives, figs, apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and fortresses built from bailed hay.
*Ive celebrated mass in grand and gilded cathedrals and humble stone chapels
*Ive breezed up mountains and struggled with them too
*Ive gone days miraculously with no impairment, and I've gone a week with blisters so tender and painful it hurts to look at them.
*Ive seen humanity at its best and its worst; and thought about what provokes them both
*Ive been the recipient of countless acts of kindness from strangers, and also been that unexpected kindness to others
*Ive been the optimist to carry others and the pessimist in times of solitude.
*Ive learned to cobble together enough Spanish to get by, and still find great comfort in the voice of an American.
*Ive talked for hours with friends made in times of struggle, and in awed silence listening to an aging woman share her wisdom in the back room of a small cafe.
*Ive learned that I can live with very little and still have more than enough
*Ive learned that the km markers can say what they want but that attitude and listening to your body is all that matters
*Ive shared a smile from across a room with someone with whom I cannot communicate and known exactly what was in their heart
*I have met saints and sinners and realized we all have both inside of us.
*I have come to understand that the Camino is an experience, not a thing and that it redefines itself with every day.
And lastly I have learned that that with my distance today I am 1/3rd of the way to Santiago. Thank God it's only 1/3rd of the experience too.