For all those who this new Holy Year are going to travel that sacred space, bequeathed by history, which is the Camino de Santiago.
For all the veterans who want to renew that trip to Ithaca through Sparta.
For those who are approaching the Camino for the first time, fearful and expectant before the great adventure that awaits them in the high mountains, in the desolate moors, in the shady corridors where the friendly spirits of the thousands and thousands of souls that they preceded at all the crossroads of the great route, leaving their footprints in millenary soil.
To those who seek, to those who do not conform, to those who hang their soul from their staff, taking one step, then another and another, looking for a tomb at the end of all the Western Ways.
To those who know how to see, among the yellow of the broom, the golden necklace that Suero de Quiñones offered his lady and to those who intuit the friendly shadows of the troubadours exchanging songs of friendship while the sun illuminess the carved stone with gold.
Those who greet, in Triacastela, the poor Provençal poet German Noveau still reciting his verses in French while everyone understands him.
To those who dream, to those who are clear that (inevitably) the Camino is born between infinite mountains, to those who confirm that one must die in Castile, to those who discover that in order to resurrect in Galicia, they must first “be born to the Camino, die on the road ”. How on earth is one going to resurrect without being born, without having died, without having enjoyed the fullness of the great adventure?
And for all those who, in the end, discover (and transmit) that the Way above all teaches humility and that is its greatness.
For all, peace, freedom and a great way to walk.
Jose Antonio de la Riera. Pilgrim, writer, researcher.
Founding member of the International Fraternity of the Camino de Santiago and Vía Mariana Association.
Photo: Manuel G. Vicente, pilgrims on the way, 1989