Note: The next several posts are about my recent trip to Spain where I walked the pilgrimage trail of the Camino.
I was in Madrid when my phone rang at 2 am. My friend from home was frantic. She knew we were traveling from Madrid to Santiago. She had just seen breaking news of a train crash on this very route killing 80 and wounding hundreds more.
I managed to reassure my friend that I was not on this train. I, in fact, was hearing about the crash by this phone call.
The next morning, as we took a taxi to the airport to fly to Santiago, I realized that if we had chosen to travel by train the crashed train is the one we would have been on.
Arriving in Santiago we found all the planned festivities for this August 25 City Celebration had been cancelled. The area had declared 7 days of grieving.
A few days later on the Camino we met a couple from Canada who had been on this train but had gotten off at Lugo, a stop prior to the crash.
I asked how this proximity to death impacted them.
They said they were doing a lot of thinking about the families they had met on the train. The children. The parents.
How safe are we anywhere?
When will we have seen someone for the last time?