What I Miss
4 AM……I have been home a week and already I am aware of what I miss when I am not out walking and why it calls to me:
* The weight of my pack first thing in the morning, that appendage which becomes a physical part of my being…..if missing I am off balance
* Early morning, lying in bed, stretches….moments convincing the body it does in fact want to rise and walk a new day…. See new sights….take in the smells of the earth
* Bells, tolling in symphony or clanging in simplicity…..I miss the bells…I will always miss the bells
* The smell of wet earth…turned fields, moss covered rock walls along the path…musty, rich earth
* A glass of chilled Tuscan wine at the end of a long hard day…soothing ….earned
* The thrill and deep sense of gratitude for an extra pillow on the bed
* A violet butterfly circling as I walk, tempting me to ask ” Who are you? What do you want me to see?”
* Plates of steaming pasta….simple, no elegant sauces or presentations…..fresh vine ripened tomato and basil; rich thick cream with chunks of crispy ham; pasta tossed in infused garlic oil……simple, basic…filling
* Monitoring the sun to gauge time… testing my abilities against a worn beaten Timex
* Dodging the rain under the protection of an olive grove….. Dining on wild boar sausage bites and tangy wedges of Parmesan as the cloudburst passes
* Boots off, toes airing mid day, in the shadows of a medieval villa or castle fortress
* Quiet……walking in quiet….. deep in thought…time passing yet totally still….Altered dimensions
I walk to discover….places, people, culture at the very core and essence of a land. I walk and I discover more of me….each and every time. I find more of the woman I am and was meant to be.
I walk to share with those who cannot and, hopefully, tempt those who can to do the same.
I walk because I am meant to walk.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kate Elliott and I attended the same Writer’s Workshop in Chicago in March, but we didn’t cross paths there. We first ‘met’ when I shared information with these writers about my Guest Voice feature. I wish now we had gotten to visit in Chicago! I’m fascinated by her story – and her stories. She spent over 30 years in hospitality management before discovering long distance walking in her mid-fifties. The story above arises from her walk on the Via Francigena in Italy in 2015. You may learn more about Kate and read her blogs at Www.walkingwomanwalkingwithkate.blogspot.com.