Lires, Spain – April 4, 2017
Sunlight spills over the clouds along the eastern horizon, glowing golden against the grey water. Muxía’s point is empty, just the lonely church standing guard in the morning light, its foundations built over the ruins of a Celtic shrine, rising to claim its place as the last in the waves of belief to wash over the rocks.
The legend is that the Virgin Mary landed here to visit the bones of Saint James. She rode a boat made of stone and the sail is still there, a giant slab of rock just out of the waves. If you pass underneath it enough times, it may heal you.
The four of us sit and watch the ocean for a long time, lost in the endless curve of water. The sun rises behind us, breaking away from the horizon of clouds, stretching up into a blue sky scattered with puffs of white. Waves beat against the rocks, spraying foam into the air, roaring in and out like a heartbeat.
Boom, boom, boom.
We linger, stretching out a short day, eating fresh-fried churros in Muxía’s town square before we leave for the south. The sun watches from the top of the sky, peeking down at us through puffy white clouds that float on the wind. The walk is easy, a few hours to Lires, a salve for weary legs, a chance to fill the day with more laughter, reflection, and stories than miles.
We walk down to the beach for sunset, to watch the sky turn golden as we dip toes in the surf, to dance and play in the sand, to laugh, splash, and soak our feet in the waves. We are alone, just the four of us, no one else stopped in Lires. The call of Finisterre, of the end, was too strong to resist.
The sun drops below the sea. Golden-orange streaks paint the clouds. The four of us hold each other close and stand in the surf together, laughing as water swirls around our ankles, as we sink in the sand, as the day fades into night. We are all smiles, teeth glowing white in the last bit of light, like thieves who stole something precious, stole another day together, and got away with it.