The road less travelled…

I like my Hilton home; It is very comfortable indeed. I love my 24 hour  gym, right on my doorstep. I love feeling warm all the time, the deep hot bath, and the huge bed with clean sheets.

It feels almost like my ‘checking in’ point; where Anadi and I return to get further instructions (mail) and new clothes, vitamin pills, (parcels) anything that might be needed for our next mission

We are given warmth and comfort, and food in any many of restaurants to choose from in the airport, and the hotel itself… And then off we go for our next adventure!

Given that we are often in sunny climes, this might all appear rather strange… But as we tend to like warm countries out of season, where the evenings and nights are colder, and the buildings are not really set up for cold… They are more designed to keep cool in extreme heat.

There is something about the nomadic life for me that lends itself to always being open, never the opportunity to sink into any illusion…

When I was running today, I reflected on how running training – or any practising – is the absolute metaphor for the path disappearing behind us; and reminds that we make our path in life by walking it.

When a musician stands on stage and performs in an awe inspiring way, we do not see him or her trail onto stage with them, the hours and hours and hours of practise; all of that has vanished like the wake that the boat leaves, which vanishes – and the musician stands transparent on the stage.

Yesterday I added up the miles I had run over the past 20 weeks – because I have recorded them each day I was able to do this – to discover that for 20 weeks I have averaged 48 miles of barefoot running a week… All of it has vanished, but through running the path, it has revealed itself to me in the form of increased fitness, and new directions…

Along the way, ‘Barefoot Across Spain’ emerged as my bare steps became stronger and more and more adventurous…

I am on the train to Lewes, it is a sparkling bright sunny November day…. I recognise glorious Sussex and the many happy years I spent here, the Downs flash by, sun glinting through the orange brown golden trees; how I love this land… How I treasure the miles I covered on those green hills; the path I made by running them has brought me here and I cannot turn back, nor do I desire to; i treasure the road of of my life unfolding

Later…

I have just spent a wonderful time in Lewes… It is a town I know so well – I have spent a lot of time in coffee shops there right back from the late 80’s when I first moved to the area…

I can remember Bill’s restaurant when it was a small fruit and veg shop with a few tables for wonderful coffee and cake; we watched it expand, my friends and I, when we met there over the weeks months and years – to a much bigger coffee shop and now of course Bill’s can be found in towns all over Britain…

Going back to the same place and seeing the changes is an interesting experience. I know the streets and I know the feel of the place; some of it is unchanged, some of it is expanding, growing, developing…

but I was aware of a newness, as if I was there for the first time. New – yet the same – a huge history of time spent and yet only the moment.

I spent a wonderful lunch time with Kathy and then coffee with Ange… Two people who I met at almost the same time…

Many years ago – almost twenty – here we are with all those shared years and we meet now, all joining in a project – Barefoot Across Spain…!

The fact that I am barefoot now seems entirely natural to us all… I arrived at Lewes Station in my sparkling jangley barefoot sandals given to me by my friend Fi- on a bright crisp, quite cold November day… Kathy scooped me up and admired by sparkly feet and whisked me to lunch in Pelham house, a beautiful refined hotel, delightful delicious dining…

Kathy is the chair of Friends of Sussex Hospices and over the years I have witnessed the amazing work she has done; but also the fun she has generated in the projects and her heart… Her heart has been at the centre of all she does, and I am delighted to be sharing in a project with her…  And my bare feet lead the way!

I now have no discomfort within me now when I wander the land barefoot; it is the path I am treading and it is opening huge vistas of untrod lands to me, and meeting with Kathy and Ange highlighted the friendship and love I am receiving on my road less travelled…

Ange and I have been meeting in the Real Eating Company for the past 15 years… We have a tradition of eating almond croissant with our coffee… It is part of our meet up – and I have not discovered almond croissants to compare outside the UK – yet!

But I enjoy it as something I do in the UK and always with Ange – like the tostadas y aceite are a part of what I do in Spain.

Food and connection to the land we are in, to the people there and to each other, is one of the joyous ways we humans connect and share and have fun!

Eating and drinking, loving and laughing together all over the world.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *