Day 11: Peronne

Number of kilometres today: 28.5

Total kilometres walked from Canterbury: 268.14

Total steps since Canterbury:  380,823

Number of dog attacks today: 0.5

Number of dog attacks cumulative: 1.5

Number of times lost: 0

Kermit cloak on. Kermit cloak off.  Kermit cloak on.  Kermit cloak off.  That's how today went. 

I don't mind that it showered periodically, I just wish I could read the weather.  It seems that I would walk for a long time with the Kermit cloak on, whipped by the almost constant wind that skims these lands, and as soon as I decided to take it off that it would start to rain again and I would have to battle against the wind to get the cloak back on over me and The Devil and buttoned up.

In general, people have been very envious of the Kermit Cloak.  Not one person who has seen me wear it has been unable to stop and stare as I walk by.  I expect Kermit cloaks to be the next big fashion trend in Europe this winter.

Today was a beautiful, peace filled day of walking. The pain in my feet still present, accepted, not resisted.

One step after the other, through open fields, some newly ploughed, others newly chopped and others newly seeded.  Past more fields of corn.  Past more war cemeteries.  Through more small villages that are almost like daytime ghost towns, the cars are there but no one is to be seen, except for the dogs who never fail to let me know whose territory it is.  I was glad that one giant Saint Bernard was securely in his own yard.  His barking and repeated leaping forcefully against the metal gate scared me.  I had visuals of him jumping over the fence and knocking me straight onto my back with his two giant front paws and then...I love dogs.  I do.  But sometimes they are just a little bit scary here.  Unknown.  Unpredictable.

Today as I walked with a full and peaceful heart, I took time to notice the small things.

The orange slugs that sliver along the road and on the grassy verge.

The small black cricket ambling quietly beneath the grass.

The white butterfly that fluttered alongside me.

The worm that wriggled and writhed its way along the rain damp bitumen.

The gulls that cried out behind me as they soared over the ploughed field.

The wildflowers; pink, yellow, white, purple dancing in the constant breeze.  And the bumble bees that suckled their sweetness.

The white wispy dome of the dried dandelion waiting for the perfect moment to shed what it no longer needs.

This is why I walk.

To see.

To wonder.

To be here in this world,

a bride married to amazement

.*

* When Death Comes by Mary Oliver