We have just arrived in Dover from Canterbury and are drinking warm coffee at The Mean Bean. Our plans to make it to Dover yesterday did not work out as we had initially hoped because we got a later start than we thought we would (the beginning of our pilgrimage to be marked at noon on the 20th of July). The cause of this late start was because we wanted to recieve our blessings from the Catholic church for our pilgrimage because God knows we need all of the help we can get. I know now after yesterday that I really am mad and now I feel like I have a better idea about what I have gotten myself into : walking to Rome I will have to take over 1 million steps. Let us hope that I can make it.
I remember we stopped to rest for a moment yesterday outside of a small church just a little past Patrixbourne and I looked down for a moment at the grass below. I could see ever so slightly the earth breathing with the breeze and it made me wonder if this was something that I usually miss or if I was actually just dehydrated. Regardless of the answer, walking through the English countryside has been a beautiful experience and I am amazed that I have gotten to experience it. The trees reach up above you and clasp their branches like fingertips which creates a tunnel for you to walk through. You find yourself constantly surrounded by a sea of green because ivy clings to trees like a small infant to a mother’s breast and the ground plants grow up all around you. When I was not walking through forested areas I found myself surrounded by golden wheat in all directions. It is beautiful here and today I leave all of this for France as we are taking the ferry across the channel later. The English countryside has been nothing but quaint. This is a place where little old women hobble out of their homes on a cool Wednesday afternoon with a pail of black paint to cover their little picket fence in a fresh coat.
As I mentioned earlier, we did not make it to Dover so instead we found a place to camp out for the night. The sun sets at a late hour so we walked until at least nine and began to set up camp. The place we had found was somewhat hidden from view and so we wouldn’t be easily spotted. In the morning after crawling out of the tent and packing everything up we crossed through the hedge that kindly hid us for the night and we came across a magnificent landscape stretching out before us. Our trail was clearly visible and, as everything has been, it was picturesque with the sun rising on one side and the moon still high in the sky on the otherside. I had to take a moment to exclaim that this is all just a crazy dream. This is the life I am inside of right now, I have crawled inside of this life that includes only what I can carry on my back and the world laid out before me. Who would have thought I would find myself here right now? Who could have known that I would be walking until I cannot feel my blisters anymore?
(and if you were wondering, my blisters are doing alright. I just need to walk until I cannot feel them. Everytime I stop walking I must begin the process again. Injinji socks have been helping with the pain though.)
I do not know when I will be able to update because I do not know what the wifi in France is like. We may rest for a day in Calais, but we have not decided just yet.
Be well and let us meet again soon.