Ending is weird. The Camino is so about the journey that by the time you get there, it is a little, well, weird. It is not a race, so it isn’t like you are looking at the scoreboard to check your time. There isn’t even a defined finish line. When we arrived everyone pretty much just laid down in the square to take the facade of the Cathedral in for a few moments. Soon after, I told the pilgrims to scrape themselves off of the pavement so we could go get our compenstella. Many felt like it was much like going to the DMV. It is awesome to be here and I have a sense of accomplishment, however pilgrimage really isn’t about the destination.
It is such a cliche to say it is about the journey and not the destination, but I find that to be super true on the Camino. Your struggle, your enhanced self-awareness, your journey with others, your time to think and process. Those all happen on the journey and are really over when you get where you are going. At that point, all of that growth is over.
I think it is good in life that we never reach the destination, we never reach perfection. Then the journey would be over. As long as we still draw breath, the journey continues and the growth continues.
That’s why ending a Camino is weird. It mimics life’s journey so well, until the end. Then the analogy parts ways. Life and its journey continue. At Santiago, the growth and the arrows stop.