English-major alums Amanda Keithley, Hillary Morris, and Lainey Pereboom have just finished their pilgrimage. For 33 days and 500 miles, they walked the “Camino”—the pilgrimage road from France to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, an endpoint for spiritual seekers since the Middle Ages. Over 250,000 people will have walked the Camino this year alone.
Each alumna had her own reason for becoming a pilgrim, but all were seeking discernment about the next stages in their lives and careers. Amanda writes about completing the pilgrimage:
I have found that arriving in Santiago was less about the cathedral and more about the people you walked with on the Camino every day. It was the journey, not the destination, that I found sacred and beautiful. It was in the people I met and the friends who became family, and not in any individual spiritual experience, that I saw the love of God. On the Camino, there are the people you walk with every day and those you meet at an albergue or on the path and see again and again when you least expect to in towns and places neither of you has ever been. The way that people weave in and out of each other’s lives on the Camino in unexpected and surprising ways is why the Camino is known for mysteriously bringing people together. We have built a Camino family by just wandering into each other’s lives. I’m not sure exactly how I have been changed by these people, but I do know that their presence in my life has given me hope and shown me great love that people of all backgrounds and cultures can share.
Amanda will accompany Lainey, Hillary, and their friend Bri, also an SPU alumna, on a month more of European travel. We wish them well and safe travels!