Prince died. I know this is probably not news to any of you at this point, but I’m three days behind in my blog posts, and it hit me hard. I found out via text from Alex at the end of my rest day in A Balsa.
I was with a few other pilgrims: two from Spain, one from Germany and one from Romania. I left out an audible gasp when I got the text and everyone asked what was wrong. When I told them, I got blank stares, no reaction (I had to explain who he was to the two Spaniards), which made it sting all the more. At that moment, I wanted so desperately to be with my friends, to turn up his music as loud as possible and dance my butt off, to celebrate his amazing talent and what his music meant to me. For the first time in months, I wanted to be home.
I can remember loving Prince since I was very young. I used to turn up the car stereo whenever “1999” would come on. I recorded “Pop Life” from the radio on my first ever mix tape in seventh grade. My first dance with Alex at our wedding was to “Adore.” And luckily, I got to experience one of his amazing live performances, the night before my Contracts exam my first year of law school. I got an A.
That night I went to my bed, put in my ear buds and listened to “The Beautiful Ones,” my favorite of his songs, and smiled, grateful for all the memories, all the fun his music has brought to my life.
The next morning, I woke up to an email from my mother-in-law saying that their cat, Boris, had died. I was a wreck. Boris’ death dredged up memories of losing my own cat, Caspian, at the end of 2014. I was sitting at the breakfast table with people who were basically strangers, trying to hold back tears, unable to let out the emotions inside. I desperately wanted my own space to cry, to grieve. I wanted my husband. I wanted my own bed. I wanted my cat to curl up with and make me feel better. But I had to walk.
Luckily, I had my new friend Chip to walk with that day and for the next two days after. Being with someone, talking and walking, helped take my mind off things and made me feel better. The sun shone brightly on us that day, followed by rain the next, and then sun again.
It is the most concentrated social time I’ve had on the whole Camino, but it came at the perfect time, and I am grateful to him for making me laugh and making the time and distance fly by.
Tomorrow I arrive in Santiago de Compostela!
Day 26: Today I walked 23 miles.
Day 27: Today I walked 21.7 miles.
Day 28: Today I walked 22 miles.