The final stage

I managed to pack my case – why don’t dirty clothes pack as easily as clean ones? Then we had a walk through the streets. The Roman Catholic Church is keeping the Feast of Corpus Christi today and just around the corner from the hotel we came across people on their knees creating a carpet of flowers for the procession of the Blessed Sacrament that would pass that way later today. It was like another Way, a triumphal Way, a Camino for Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament.

A carpet of flowers being prepared

A carpet of flowers being prepared

After a coffee we gathered back at the hotel. The Southwark Walkers joined us – well, most of them – who were travelling back in the coach to La Coruna from where we were flying. They said that they had missed carrying their backpacks and were pleased to be reunited with them. I kind of believed them!

The walkers arrive to join us

The walkers arrive to join us

Then we set off and made our way to the airport. There were just a few minor mishaps on the way – a bag left at the hotel that had to follow in a taxi; a passport left on the plane and fortunately retrieved before it was heading back to Spain – just the normal things.

And on the plane, well, we rested …

We said our farewells as we collected our baggage and then, off, back on the road to our homes.

It has been a tremendous pilgrimage, to the end of the world and back. As I opened the door to the Deanery I realised that the true journey’s end is where we belong. I was home, but, I hope changed by the journey.

I have unpacked the bags, but now I need to unpack the experience …

A highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
but it shall be for God’s people;
no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isaiah 35.8-10

Christ blessing the pilgrims in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Christ blessing the pilgrims in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Thank you, Lord, for being with us on the Way;
thank you for bringing us safely home.
May I and my companions
continue the journey
that leads to you
and come to your Heavenly City
for all eternity.
Amen.

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