Our Santiago walk is winding down. Time has passed but the 440 miles and all the experiences flash before me daily as we continue down the trail for the last 10km.
We have arrived in Santiago but still have a couple kilometers to the cathedral. More and more pilgrims press on with us. The trail has become a highway of peregrinos.
We arrived in the Cathedral with minutes to spare. A pilgrim Mass occurs every day at noon. But to participate in the Mass on the day you arrive; that's a truly special moment.
We sat in perfect position to watch all the activities related to swinging the large incense burner. Historically they swung the incense burner over the pilgrims because they smelled so strongly after their lengthy pilgrimage. While I still had the smell of the trail seems like most folks had a shower and change of clothes before Mass.
Here are the folks controlling the swing of the incense pot. They are seasoned and act in precise unity. I watched them as often as I could given all the activities. Note the incense haze from the massive burner.
Way over to the right and mid way up (above picture) you can see the huge incense burner. The power of the swinging, the weight and the extension of the rope shouted out awesome to me.
This image shows the intensity of the event and the focus of pilgrims on the swinging pot. A very unusual time and place for many of the folks in the Cathedral.
Most inspiring though was something I didn't catch on 'film'. Just as the incense ceremony began a nun launched into a series of songs so beautiful and so in tune with the swinging incense and my state of mind, I came to tears.
As she sang flashes of my 47 days of walking came at me in rapid fire. So clear the flashes of specific places and people that I quickly became full: in fact overflowing with the richness of this experience: the Camino. The impact of this experience will surely show itself in the days and weeks, months and years ahead.
After absorbing Santiago for a couple more days and letting a virus go that I acquired through too many hugs and kisses, we will go to the end of the earth (for Spain), Finisterre to give our final goodbyes.