Day 36: Aigle

Number of kilometres today: 24.2

Total kilometres walked from Canterbury: 969.9

Total steps since Canterbury:  1,374,404

After yesterday's rest day, it felt good to get back on the trail this morning with the Devil on my back.  The rain that was forecast never fell.  Instead I was blessed with sunshine for most of the day and a mild 18 degrees.  Perfect walking weather for my final hours beside beautiful Lake Geneva before I headed south away from the lake in the valley between the mountain ranges.

I felt emotional as I walked away from my hotel and down towards the lake this morning.

Here I am now in Switzerland.

Here I am having almost walked 1,000 kilometres! 1,000 kilometres!

Here I am, having almost made it halfway through my dream.

Here I am, preparing to walk across the Alps and the Great Saint Bernard Pass!

Here I am, finding my own way, embraced by divinely placed kindness, so comfortable and content in my own company and in love with this world.

Despite the pain and the challenges, I feel overwhelmingly grateful, blessed and blissed to be on this journey.  The steps are often painful as my feet protest the weight of The Devil even more so after a rest day but it is just pain and I accept that price to be here walking amidst the incredible wonder and beauty of Mother Earth.

To everyone who is supporting and encouraging me, near or afar, aloud or in silence, I am deeply grateful.  This poem is for you.

Invisible Army

You thought you were alone

taking one quiet step after the other

through the rain 

and the scorching sun

through the pain 

that snaps at your ankles 

trying to break you

with its scowl and it scorn 

barking its message; 

I am stronger than you.

You look around 

and see this world;

the small critters crawling

and slithering 

in front of your feet.

You bow by stepping over.

Goliath is not God.

They are deserving

and worthy of living

another day, too.

You slip and slide through the mud

that threatens to topple you.

You walk the wrong road and 

when you emerge from the danger

accepting that this is the right road

because you are travelling it,

you are greeted by an amazing sky,

by God's silvery fingers

slipping through the clouds

caressing the earth

Then you know you are not alone.

You were never alone.

You look down at your feet and see 

the footprints of many,

before you,

behind you,

and beside you.

An invisible army,

urging you on,

lifting you back on your feet

when you are fallen,

toasting victory when you win.

All that it took was to step out

from behind your heart-shaped fortress

to reveal your own light.

To see what was always there.

The giant fork outside the alimentarium museum

Looking back somewhere around Montreux

Chateau de Chillon

Away from the lake, just outside of Villeneuve

Just outside of Villeneuve.  Steep rocky peaks to my left.

Look at all of these plastic bottles for recycling!  Incredible.  Its great it is being recycled but imagine how much waste we produce every day!

Door of the day...

Heading towards Aigle from Vesvey

An aigle (eagle) in Aigle

In Aigle, everyone has a vineyard in their backyard!