Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Iris, upon arriving

Author: Paulo Coelho

Iris, upon arriving at Santiago de Compostela, says:

When I reached Obradoiro Square, I wondered: why did I have to face so many difficulties?

I joined the endless line to kiss the statue of the saint and it all struck me as absurd, except for catching up with some pilgrims that I had met on the way.

Yes, it was all absurd, except the joy of having surmounted my limits and feeling a better person.

Just as well that I did not walk like the others.

Just as well that I decided to stop whenever the sun set, avoiding thinking about whether I was near a shelter or whether there was food available.

Just as well that I ate a plate of lentils that upset me and obliged me to sleep at the foot of a mountain, in a place that I would never have known had it not been for that problem.

Just as well that I overslept and ending up having to spend the night under a star-filled sky.

Just as well that I began walking when I felt like it and stopped when I wanted to, without anyone telling me is that was right or wrong.

Just as well that I was alone, and so the moon treated me in a very special way.

Just as well that I took the wrong turn four hundred times and ended up knowing places that nobody knew.

On one of these detours I spent the whole day sitting in front of the door of a convent thinking about my vocation It was because of so many absurd things and so many “just as well’s” that the whole thing was fun.

Because before this my life had a goal, and from now on I will go on walking just for the pleasure of walking

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