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Am I really back ?

I have been back from the Camino de Santiago de Compostela for four months, after two and a half months of walking. And the question still rings out: "am I really back?"

My backpack as an accomplice, I traveled the Via Podiensis from Puy en Velay to St Jean Pied de Port then the Camino Francès to Santiago to end up on the Spanish Finisterian coast. 1556 kilometres.

Words still fail me to accurately share the depth of my experience, as I experienced it as a rite of passage, initiatory.

The Way continues to carry me, beyond the mountains and the winds.

I can still feel his breath enveloping me and feeding me with his magic.

With each step, it was a bit of eternity, of immensity that woke up inside. With Nature as a benevolent witness.

I moved forward listening to my rhythm, respecting the rest periods and shedding my old skin a little more each day. I walked alone most of the time, a way for me to be connected, first with myself and my inner movements and also and above all, to be fully present to the signs of the Living, the Sacred and to celebrate them by my silence.

As the kilometers went by, I felt the union with the pilgrim inside, thus connecting me a little more to the Spirit of the Way. This particular depth came to me from the famous Meseta in Spain.

Its bare paths, its desert valleys echoed with my inner desert.A sacred space where everything Is.

A vibrant caress that embraces me.

The wonder of the encounter.

Because if the Way invites to dare to meet with oneself, and with all the forms of expression of the Living, it also invites to dare to meet with a large family of pilgrims, all united (e)s towards a single goal, to walk.

The self-emptying continues with the other, with whom the exchanges are simple, authentic, deep... the emotions are revealed over the steps, with listening and trust.

I was touched by all these outbursts of fraternity, solidarity and generosity. A piece of cheese shared near a tree while remaking the world. Sharings that are sometimes brief and at the same time so intense, true. Nothing to prove, just to be.

And then there are all those people who take care of accommodation, "albergues" as they are called in Spain. I remember this lodge in Muxia, the last day of my journey. I had walked all day in the rain and I arrive at the lodge exhausted. I am greeted by a couple in their sixties with a big smile.

The lady said to me with a lot of love: "Before you settle down, you are going to eat the soup I just made, it will do you good"...

At that moment, I received everything I needed: a warm place, love and the best soup in the world.

This path is a place of learning love, towards oneself, towards the other, and the art of giving and receiving. It is an experience of connection where the present, in all its simplicity, is magnified. It unites, repairs, consolidates and nourishes the soul with its beauty.

There would be so much to say... that I invite whoever feels like it, to listen to this call and go live the Experience.


Stephanie Tirelli

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