Monday, July 25, 2011

How can you explain?

 On the plateau above Le-Puy-en-Velay - on the first day of walking

"How can you explain that you need to know that the trees are still there, 
and the hills and the sky?  
Anyone knows they are.  
How can you say it is time your pulse responded to another rhythm, 
the rhythm of the day and the season 
instead of the hour and the minute?  
No, you cannot explain.  So you walk."

~Author unknown, from New York Times editorial, "The Walk," 25 October 1967

It was something very special, the frisson of joy that I knew as I walked into the countryside at the top of the climb out of Le Puy. All going well, I was embarking on something that would let me be a walker in the outdoors for weeks and weeks to come. 
I have just returned home from a Camino gathering in Hamilton: how good it was to be with a group of people who had also walked, and who understood, who didn't need an explanation about 'why' you would do such a thing...


  1. No, you can't explain. I can't explain. It's probably inexplicable. So we walk. Yes.

    (Loved your lonely house Le Puy photo a few posts back, btw.)

  2. Yes, those stone houses were typical of the Auvergne region- very soldily built against the cold weather at that altitude, and I think built of the volcanic rock in that area.