In Honour Of A Different James
See the shell tied to my rucksack? They give you those at the start.
Right before the end there is a huge and historic pile of stones of all shapes and sizes at a place called The Iron Cross. Pilgrims leave a momento there in honour of a lost loved one.
I took an indelible marker and added a J.
When I get to that spot, I will lay my shell to rest there in honour of my brother, James who died back in 1984 aged 29.
Once I realised that this walk is called The Way of Saint James and that Santiago is roughly translated as St James, I had no choice.
I did reach the Iron Cross just 2 days ago while the moon was still full.
There I met a lady called Clara. I asked her to capture my laying of my shell.
She then a asked the same of me.
It turns out she too had lost a sibling. A sister, Laura.
We spoke for a while and I could feel the sense of unspoken understanding between us. She looked tearful but also serene in the knowledge that we had both arrived at the same time and the same day to pay respects not only to our own lost loved ones, but also to each other’s.
It is a moment I could never forget.
For James & Laura.
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