Walking Home

reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

April 25

April 27th, 2016

April 25


Today was a walk from Hontanas to Fromista, 35 km. The bar across the street opened before 7:00 and the woman who had worked so hard all the evening before was there, baking croissants and making cafe con leche, so I stopped and had a “grande.” The walk out was magnificent, the sun slowly rising at my back, the temperatures too cold for what I was wearing, but I knew it would warm if I hiked hard and the sun continued to rise as it tends to do. The trail wound through fields, showing its age as it was a trench next to the fields up to my right. They grow hay for the sheep and I guess for cattle in other regions, a wide, coarse grass which was as I walked exactly at eye height. The temperature hovered just above freezing so there was frost at the base of the blades, but at the tips, on every one, was a single, perfect sphere of water, drops glistening the the light that was just beginning to flood the shadows and illuminate the moisture. It was a textbook picture of fluid dynamics and an artist’s celebration of reflected light. Walking is a privilege because it puts you in a place to see such perfection.

T. Hugh Crawford