My Camino walking stick did not come home when I did. It made it from Spain to Newark, but then got lost between Newark and Salt Lake City.
Remember that my hiking poles didn't make it over? Because of that I bought a stick in St. Jean Pied de Port. I found the height I needed. It had a little leather cord on the top, a metal pokey bottom, and a scallop shell engraved on upper part of the pole. It was not a finished wood, but it was sanded smooth, still retaining it's natural tree limb bumps.
This stick practically carried me when I could barely walk (the blister thing). When the going got rough, it steadied me. Down was a dream, up was a lift. I left it here, I left it there. It was always waiting. (Then I learned how to prop it with the pack and we stuck together pretty well.)
Most every hurdle with the trip I handled like "no big deal". This, however, was tapdancing with my psyche. I really, really, really wanted it back. To me it was going to be something I could hand down to one of my grandkids, like Dad had given me his pack.
The airline was fabulous, really and no kidding. They took my report and checked to see if it made it but was unusual enough that it was hiding in the plane hold (before I ever left the airport). They called every day after that, checking details, asking questions and letting me know they were still looking and would check after each arrival.
Today they called saying it was in Houston (???) and would arrive in SLC by 2pm. At 4pm the delivery service called for more details on my house location.
My stick is here.
And now, seeing it, and holding it, all those miles that seemed so surreal and dreamlike are now very validated. The stick brought the journey home.
Stop by, I'll tell you the story behind that walking stick propped up in the corner. :)