The Only Prayer – Arzúa to O Pedrouzo

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. – Meister Eckhart

Today as I walked I realized that this brief period in my life is coming to an end. So it seemed right to think about all the things for which I am grateful.

  • Dogs who greet us with a friendly bark and not sharp teeth
  • Fresh orange juice for breakfast and the people who make it

  • Accurate arrows and distance markers to point the way to Santiago
  • Clean bathrooms at all the bars and cafes
  • Headlamps to light the path on dark mornings

  • Rain that reminds us of the challenges of life
  • Beautiful sunrises
  • A best friend to walk with who is patient and forgiving

  • Amazing weather to invite us into each day
  • Compeed bandages for our blisters
  • Laughter

  • GPS mapping on our iPhones
  • Washing machines and clean clothes
  • The menu del dia

  • The amazingly gracious nature of the Spanish people
  • My weathered but durable feet
  • People who pray for us all the time

  • The “agricultural” fragrance of many small villages
  • The stone work of so many buildings – ancient and new

  • Comfortable beds
  • The moon

  • Being greeted with the phrase “buen camino!
  • My backpack

  • Memories—both new and old
  • Churches along the way

  • A smooth walking path
  • A rocky walking path
  • A hilly walking path

  • Water
  • Thousands of pilgrims who have come before us
  • Philip and Maree, Magdalee and Sarah, Lisa, Nelson, Andrea, John and Linda, Doug, Czoba, and dozens others whose names I don’t remember
  • Ibuprophen

  • People who take pride in their work
  • Vineyards, sunflowers, and corn fields
  • Kindle books
  • A partner who is always willing to ask others, “Where are you from?”

  • Friends from everywhere who offer words of encouragement
  • Eleven more miles to walk to Santiago de Compostela

Gratitude is one of the best things I have found in Spain – and in myself.

Author: Jim Zazzera

I find myself thinking about the past, wondering about the future, and doing my best to live in the present.

12 thoughts on “The Only Prayer – Arzúa to O Pedrouzo”

  1. What a beautiful journey you and Lena have been on and are sharing with us. I praise God for keeping you two safe and for guiding you in this enriching time in your lives.

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  2. Tomorrow will be a day you will never forget. As you gaze over the city, as you walk the narrow streets of Santiago’s old town, as you hear the bagpiper calling you to your destination, and as you turn to walk into the Plaza do Obradoiro and gaze up at the cathedral, may you take it all in. In silence, in joy, in relief, in praise to God for being with you on this pilgrimage. Thanks so much for faithfully sharing your journey. I have been able through your words and pictures to relive one of the most significant experiences in my life and I am sure will be for your lives. Congratulations in advance, you have accomplished much to reach your destination.

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  3. Dear Jim and Lena, your beautiful reflections on gratitude meld with the sermon we heard from Lori on Sunday and our discussion at Life Group. We are all trying to live more gratefully this week. You have encourage me! I can’t believe that you are almost at the end…may you enjoy every last step. God Bless You Both! Love, Barbara

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  4. And how grateful we are for you and Lena, who graciously took us along on the path, shared your hearts, opened us to new possibilities and God’s mercy in keeping you safe, being your guide and constant companion, showing you “old” things that are “new”. We celebrate the conclusion of buen camino and join you in wondering and watching all that God has ahead even as we are in this very moment. Godspeed.

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  5. I’m with Claire, we are so grateful for you both, and for sharing this time with us. Enjoy your final days, taking in all that you see, living in the moment! The journey of a lifetime. Buen Camino 💞

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  6. Thank YOU, Jim! You’re almost ready to travel from Santiago to San Diego. That’s St. James at both ends as you take to the air after an amazing walk. May your night be restful, and tomorrow refreshing. Safe and joyous travels ahead. Enjoy your new grandbaby!

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  7. What a wonderful summary of your unforgettable journey! Perhaps the “Camino” should be offered as a Marriage Class.

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  8. I echo everything that has been said above. I have read every single one of your journals and cherish them all. You spoke so much to our minds and our spirits. This one directly hit my heart ( as did many of the others, but not like this one ). I cried. Our hearts are where God and Jesus speak to us the most deeply. And where we connect with each other to the greatest extent. You, Lena, your journey, and your journals have meant so much to so many people. And to think that you weren’t really even trying to draw us all together, but it happened. One of those beautiful God things. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jim, Lena, Lord God, and Savior Jesus. Love you, Jim, Love you, Lena.

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  9. I always seem to be reading your letters a day later… I’m grateful for what everyone has written here. I’m grateful to have you and Lena in my life and to to count you as friends. I’m grateful to have experienced this journey through your thoughts and photos. I’m thankful that God has provided you with all you have needed for this moment in your lives. God bless you always, and thank you!

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