13 June 2009

2006: Just Around the Corner

13 June

Didn't expect to be doing much today, as I awoke to quite a downpour... I knew my luck with weather the past few weeks was pushing outrageous, so a few days of heavy clouds and the occasional rain isn't getting me down. However, when the temp started rising and the clouds began to filter sunshine instead of blocking it, I thought I'd do a walkabout. By the time I was 3-4 kilometres from the front door, the clouds were well on their way to being gone, the temp had quickly risen from 18 to around 25, and the humidity was headed towards a Winston-Salem summer norm.

Along the way, I thought I was going on a 5-6 kilometre loop. So, when the weather started to revert to this morning's idea of damp, I figured I'd easily be home in time to watch the roads soak. While I was right about the weather, I was dead wrong about the distance. What kept me going?

The blind confidence that the road I needed was "just around the next corner", my music (I really love my portable music player), and the fun of the unknown.

The first good was meeting an 80-year-old woman as I crossed the River Jaudy for the first time. She was working in her garden, and had just plonked into a comfy chair in her garden, which was bounded by the river itself. She recognized my French could use a lot of work, yet between the two of us, we managed to get names, ages, where we were born (she was born in the house not 15 metres from her chair), her children (one daughter), etc... It was marvelous to be in the middle of nowhere and find someone who was friendly, and had no problem with entertaining a completely-sweaty and disheveled stranger.

Another 1.5 miles, and I've found a hiking trail for 'another day' where the River Jaudy was crossed one more time. Not 100 metres further up the road (D32 north) were two locals working their dairy herd. The young man had just taken down a piece of fence, and for a moment I thought they were more interested in causing a bit of relatively-innocent havoc by loosing the herd on the highway. It became obvious this was a part of their job, though, and I found myself walking on the road with about 60 dairy cows to the next meadow. It sounds rather mundane, but it was quite a treat.

I finally find the loop road I was looking for, I'm tired, and my feet are beginning to mutiny. The music has been quiet for about a minute, and just as I think the battery needs replacing, Ravel's "Bolero" starts to make itself loud enough over the ambient environment. How many times have you heard this beautiful bit of classical music and wanted it to be playing as you were closing on home?

I beat the finishing crescendos home, but only barely! (grin)

All told, about 10-12 kilometres, a little over 2.5 hours, another dragonfly find, and several mini-adventures. Some folks spend their lives searching for heaven in their own way, and I feel lucky to have found it in mine...

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