Me and my Dani
Me and my Dani

This week’s theme: Companionable

One of the most memorable senses of companionship I have ever had the pleasure of having in my life to date was with the very special people I met when I did my pilgrimage across the north of Spain back in 1999, it also happened to be the 1000 year anniversary of the pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint James housed at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

The first day I arrived in Pamplona at the pilgrim’s hostel the night before I began my 650 mile journey, I remember seeing the man in the above photo. It was several days before I would see him again and begin talking to him at one of the many hostels on the way that gave shelter to those walking the route, usually for a nominal donation. Little did I know on that first evening that this man was the reason I was there. Neither of us had intended to be where we were that night, we had both made other plans for our break away, but through some strange twist of events we both had changed plan at the last minute and decided to do this pilgrimage on the advice of family and friends.

It soon became clear that we were to share this journey from beginning to end, and for good reason. We had a lot to talk about, we had much in common. Born on the same day though seven years apart, both with Spanish family from the same part of Spain, though were both a long way from home. We sang the same songs, had read the same books. We had both had the same dream two years previous that had told us things only we both knew, having never told anyone else. And we both knew that we would meet. He not only sang, as I did, but he was a writer too, amongst all of the very uncanny similarities between us. Dani was like my male counterpart, my twin in no uncertain terms. Two peas in a pod.

I remember he wore an Indiana Jones-style hat when he was out on the trail, and it wasn’t long before he earned the nick-name Indiana Muñoz. I shared my very religious experience with this man, and the wonderful people that we had adopted along the way. Our little group was like a comet blazing along the length of the milky way, with Dani and me at its centre setting the pace, telling the jokes, and entertaining everyone with our songs and stories.

Exhausted Pilgrims
Exhausted Pilgrims

I remember when we arrived at Santiago Cathedral 26 days later, the day after we had attended the special pilgrim’s mass in celebration of the 1000 year jubilee. For the long while that we sat in front of the altar on the ancient marble floor almost in pride of place, we looked at each other through tears of joy and relief and we both knew that this place belonged to us. It was a moment that I shall treasure and remember forever.

I haven’t seen Dani for many years, although I still have his walking stick that he had picked up along the way. It lives next to my own.

Here’s to all the special companions in our lives, be they people, places, objects, books, songs. Whatever it is that makes you smile and fills your heart with love.

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain

23 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Companionable

    1. You should! The whole thing blew my mind, and I’ve never experienced anything like it since. Thanks for stopping by today 😉
      Have a fantastic weekend!
      Ishaiya x

  1. That’s a wonderful story. It filled my heart with happiness to read about your memories. I hope to know what happened next? Haha…It’s like a start of a lovely novel. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read my little story. What happened next, well quite a lot, I’ll have to write about it sometime. Sadly I haven’t seen or heard from my ‘twin’ in many years despite my efforts to find him. I suppose if we are destined to meet again, then we shall. For now I have the wonderful memories that we shared. 🙂

      1. It’s my pleasure, Ishaiya. I’d love to read what happened and I hope that you get in touch with him again. However, I do agree about wonderful memories being enough for now. Lovely! 🙂

    1. I think taking that leap is sometimes out of your hands, it seems that life guides you to a specific place and time seemingly by chance, but only when you look back over time do you begin to see the pure and beautiful synchronicity of it all. This is how my pilgrimage across Spain is for me, when I look at it from my current vantage point, almost 14 years into the future from that point, I can see that everything I did prior to that event, and everything I have done since radiates from it. As if that walk were my one sole purpose in life, the centre of it all. Even though I have had three children since, what I did back in the winter of 1999 is probably the most amazing thing I have ever done to date.
      Thank you for your wonderful comments, you have my deepest gratitude.

      1. Very well. I was to respond earlier but have been having a good laugh with my small brother and his girlfriend, very interesting combination if you ask me.

        I hope you too are well. Been a long time since either of us wrote.

        1. I’m pleased you are having fun. You are right, I believe I have yet to respond to your e-mail. I can’t seem to keep up lately, I’ve even fallen behind with my daily blogging. However, I’ve been working on another commission this week which was a nice surprise.

            1. It’s finished, it was a piece of jewellery this time which was a nice change. Not too much work for a decent sum of money this time, just what I like 🙂

              1. That is great to hear. And I don’t think you have gone so low on blogging. I think you missed just a day or two which you seem to recover with one beautifully written post with lovely pictures

                1. Thank you for your kind words, you make my heart smile.
                  I’ve missed writing the really pithy posts and really letting my creativity flow.
                  I checked your blog earlier as I’m sure you are aware, and I’m liking the range of topics you’ve been discussing lately – sorry I couldn’t have joined in earlier.

                  1. No problem mate, I know sometimes life comes in between blogging and we must attend to other duties.

                    Twitter has a lot of stories, so whenever I don’t want to think too hard I just look at what is going on in twitter and viola! several posts!

    1. It always amazes me how some people can leave such an indelible mark on your memories, even though you only knew them for the briefest of time. Just like my friend Dani in the photo, I knew him for such a short time, but he will always be a very important part of me because of the journey we shared. Truly amazing.

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