If you haven't met her yet, her name is Galicia. She's the bride of Celts, Spaniards and Romans. Her language is her own creation, and she's been the principal host to a traveling procession of spiritual seekers and other curious souls for nearly a millennium.
She's, first of all, welcoming to all the pilgrims who traverse her rich terrain.
This is of utmost importance. After living near the Alamo, Fiesta Texas, Seaworld and knowing Didneyland/World before Johnny Depp made his movies, I can smell a smile that's been forced by a paycheck.
The people here in Galicia are genuine in their welcome. She's got woods and farmlands from one side to the other, and the pilgrimage to Santiago de Campostela has placed us on her road with hundreds of people walking a sacred path that goes up and down hills and across countless streams and rivers.
Yesterday, we stopped to rest under the shade of a tall oak, leaning on an ancient stone wall. I dug deep into my light back pack to find a nearly empty bag of dried Target Stores brand cranberries. There were only a few berries left after our week of walking. I looked at the packaging, perhaps lonesome just a bit for the comforts of home, and read the cranberries bag was labelled Archer Farms. I smiled to think that the non-existent Archer Farms conjured by the Target Stores marketing minds, might have been inspired by the fertile, family-owned farms like we were surrounded by.
The same that used to span the Americas just a few short centuries ago, the wink of an eye by Galicia's clock.