Walking away from Péronne, the path took us down a way that felt familiar. There is a nature preserve close to where my family is and close to where I spent a large portion of my life, and the Via Francigena took us somewhere that felt the same as the nature preserve. It had rained (thunderstorms) the day before and so the path was a sea of mud. There were puddles everywhere and you could not easily gauge the depth of the water until your foot had sunk down to the top of the boot. I thought of the time I went with friends from high school to the nature preserve after a hard rain, and in my nice school shoes I made a point to walk through all of the puddles. My feet were frozen and wet and after that adventure I threw the muddy black flats away. It was time to retire those shoes, but I wanted to make sure that they did not have anymore life in them– no more possiblities left.
We did not make it to Seraucourt-le-Grand the other day because of my ankle, so instead we stopped at this very intimate and beautiful campground in a small town. When we got to the campsite a woman, who we believe owns the campsite, rushed out and welcomed us. She could hardly speak English and we can hardly speak French, but even still we were able to comminucate well enough. She offered us food and pointed us towards where we could put up our tent. It felt very peaceful (peace to always follow). I put on my only nice clothes, laid out in the sun, and read Nin (House of Incest) for a bit. The campground is close to a small airport, and so all afternoon I watched different planes take off. Eventually I fell asleep to the sounds of the airplanes flying overhead. Taking the moment to just be there I felt more like a person and I was grateful for that. I have a nasty habit to rush through some things, and so I am trying to learn how to sit still.
Yesterday we made it to Seraucourt-le-Grand, this morning we leave Seraucourt-le-Grand, and that is simply the state of my life right now (arriving and departing…always so soon– usually never enough time to appreciate a place entirely).
A list of desires from the road :
- a bubble bath
- a nice warm dinner with jazz music
- time to read more
- to see the people I love most and to hold their faces in my hands
- for my ankle to be better
- for the rain to stop (just stop long enough to pack up)
- to be in Reims
- to have the answers to specific questions I am afraid to ask