Alameda park, Santiago de CompostelaWhen I was 25 years old I fulfilled a dream that I’d had since the age of 16. I walked across Spain. My 650 mile journey took me from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela and onward to Finisterre the furthest point on the Atlantic coast of Galicia in 29 days. Probably the most significant and important experience of my life, Santiago has become both my ancestral and spiritual home. It was me stepping off the cliff and into the abyss and discovering a world that has very long and deep roots for me, unbeknownst to me at the time. The implications of that journey have been far-reaching indeed and continue be so. I was lucky enough to return to Santiago de Compostela 12 years after completing my pilgrimage. I wrote the following poem shortly after I returned to UK shores.




My heart.


The place where all my dreams convene.

The place that always draws me back,

That never leaves me nor leaves me dissatisfied.

In your streets I find solace and peace,

Like the many tentacled octopus from your maternal shores

Wrapped about my soul

In a warm but firm embrace,

Always guiding me,

Never relenting, nor allowing me to fall.

Always ensuring that I find my path again.

In you I find me and my many reflections;

Refractions of golden light glinting in the eyes and hearts

Of all who cross my path there; wondering who

Will look at me and know me and I them.

Who will remember that we have already

Walked the same path many times before,

Though distant in time, but not in memory.

Crystallised in memory,

Like a moth caught in amber

Vivid and eternal, preserved by the

Resinous tears of an ancient tree,

Whose azabache flesh made cold

And raven by the changing winds,

Gains warmth again in honour to the pilgrims who

Come home to you, and honour you

With their own stories and histories

As I have;

Standing tall and proud like your

Magnificent facades and buildings,

Spires and towers,

Cruceiros and lanzas,

Built in our name,

Studded with the many faces

That look at me through familiar eyes;

And decorated by the hands that placed the stones

That were carved by the spellswords that gave them life;

With foundations hundreds of years deep,

Like the roots of the giant eucalyptus trees

That support the field of stars above your Alameda

Reaching deep down into the earth

And into the many universes that

Converge where your heart beats;

Where my heart awakens and hears

Your pulse resounding in the deep timpanous

And primordial chimes of your cathedral bell

Reminding me that I have arrived;

And I feel cleansed by all that I see,

All that I hear, taste and smell of you,


My heart,


6 thoughts on “Santiago – (IntPoWriMo – Day 10)

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