"End to End via the Margins"
Warning ... About half way through today I joined the West Highland Way. Soon I shall be passing through some remote places, and from now on diaries may appear a day or two late because of signal difficulties.
Perhaps it was because I haven't mended anybody's computer for two months, but midway through the morning I developed an irresistible urge to improve things. I first became aware of this at the pharmacy in Strathblane, which had a loose door handle. I whipped out my multifunction knife and fixed it before (AFAIK) anybody noticed. Buoyed up by this experience, and a good send off from this morning's B&B, I now had sky-high confidence in my ability to be a member of the human race. I walked into a coffee shop, had some apple pie and coffee, and suggested to the proprietress that "brocolli" on the specials board might be spelt "broccoli" (not that I'm sure of this anyway). This turned out to be a bad move. Pride cometh before a fall. All the character defects which my nearest and dearest tolerate are not so likeable in a public setting.
Some of the surfaces today were not so good and my left foot hurt a bit. I wondered why my feet had never got very much worse since the first few days nor very much better. I thought the answer was pain. When my feet are in danger, pain comes and makes me alter my gait, so preventing me from doing further damage. Thank God for pain. Nobody, of course, could thank God for pain gone wrong, or cancer pain, or pain where there is no possibility of removing the pain-inducing stimulus. But I thank God for this pain, which has preserved my feet thus far. I think there may be more to this sermon, which would be about social pain, and people needing people, and drug abuse, but I'll leave that for another day.
There are lots of walkers on the West Highland Way, so far all going the same way as I am. I watched the little yellow "Vibram" labels on the bottoms of their boots disappear ahead of me, and envied them for the rigidity of their soles on this stony track. But for them it's only the first day, for me, it's the 52nd. Time will tell. For part of the way, two of them chatted with me, a welcome bit of company. I reckon we all need a certain amount of company and a certain amount of solitude, and although those certain amounts are different for each of us, we are unhappy if we are too far away from our personal balance. How's that for an unsubstantiated assertion?
It sounds as if the walker in the other room in this B&B has just knocked down the shower curtain, making it a 100% record for tonight's guests.Pictures from today...
On the West Highland Way - distant hills beckon. Actually I've already been closer to other hills
God of healing,
we pray for people who have to endure
pain that cannot be ended,
pain that allows no other thought.
Give them healing.
Give them hope.
Be to them
someone who enters the darkness with them.
And we thank you for pain
that helps us,
that tells us not to do something stupid,
We thank you God for creating us,
the human race,
wonderful and excellent and beautiful.
|© Bob Warwicker. The words here may be reproduced freely, but not for gain, or without attribution. All alterations must have the permission of the author.|