The Beginning

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Monte de Gozo kneeling pilgrim.
An unknown pilgrim kneels in awe while viewing Santiago from Monte do Gozo on July 23, 2017. Photo by Lawrence Jones.

The Beginning

by Lawrence Jones | Bristol, VT

(when the Camino ends the Camino begins)

I stood by myself on the Mount of Joy—
far be it for me to be cute or coy—
for friends and others were with me there,
glimpsing the spires o’er Cathedral Square.
But tears unbidden came to my eyes
as I gazed upon the distant prize.
Five hundred miles lay behind;
I struggled to grasp this with my mind.

Silence came over me there and then,
a silence beyond my will or ken.
No words came to me, no thoughts were clear;
I only knew then to revere.

Some good long moments, then down the hill
and into the city’s crowd, noise, and thrill,
until along a cobbled street,
with tired body and aching feet
the Cathedral spires loomed ahead.
There were still some streets we had to tread,
but then we rounded into the square,
and my pilgrimage began right there!

Lawrence Jones, Steve Lytch, Plaza del Obradoiro.
Lawrence Jones (left) and Steve Lytch in the Plaza del Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on July 23, 2017. Photo by Carol Lytch.

This poem was featured in our Winter 2024 issue of La Concha. The theme was “The Artist’s Way”, and you can find the full issue in our archive here.

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