This weekend I joined a couple of hundred people for a three day retreat. Most of the attendees have walked the Camino de Santiago and a few of us are planning to walk it during the coming year. I did not know a single person before I arrived. By Sunday I felt like I had spend the weekend with old friends.
The talks and presentations were informative, inspiring and some quite moving. The Camino has a way of making good people even better. No one seems to leave unchanged.
A surprising highlight was the Shell Ceremony where each of us who had not yet walked the Camino but planned to in the coming year are awarded a scallop shell. The prayer they recited was moving, creating a few damp eyes.
I look forward to attending next years Gathering. Buen Camino.