On the Northern path, aka Camino del Norte, there was a Basque guy (the Camino starts from Irún, in the Basque Country). I did not meet him, I don't even know his name, but I know a bit of his story, and it is a beautiful one.
Every pilgrim has his reasons to go on that crazy and beautiful journey. One of his was to honour the memory of his late brother. Unfortunately, he could not walk all the way to Santiago, but he wanted the memory of his brother to keep on walking towards there, through the solidarity of his fellow pilgrims. To represent that, he used this yellow ball, and asked for it to be passed from pilgrim to pilgrim, travelling a bit with each of them, with each pilgrim carrying it writing his name on it, to tell the story of the ball, like the credencial tells the story of a pilgrim, with the stamps of all the places he went through.
So I was honoured, partly by chance, partly because I forgot about it for a few days in my backpack, to be the one carrying it for the final part to Santiago. I carried it around the streets of the old town in my pocket. I made it visit the cathedral, and symbolically put some holy water on it, to mark its passage there.
Then, I brought it to the end of the Earth, to Finisterre, where pilgrims traditionally burn some of the belongings that went with them on the path. Nowadays, forest fire hazards prevent you from burning things in Finisterre, but there is a tower where pilgrims attach these objects that made it all the way across Spain, or even Europe. This is now the new place of rest of the ball, of the memory of the brother of that pilgrim, and of a symbol of solidarity among pilgrims.
|The tower, at the end of all things|
|The ball, attached high up on the tower|