Journal/ Coast to Coast—Day 11
September 1st, 2017/ Orton to Kirkby Stephen House of Kindness
The curtain lifted on today’s unseen performance~~~
The mist in the valleys burnt away quickly by the sun’s solitary opening act…
Our steps slogged through dew~~~together we danced between pastures of sheep and cows who seemed to follow.
This day’s path is marked, yet pathways veer off in every direction with NO clear indicators THIS is how you go…GPS in hand…even ‘it’ seemed off mark, BUT it was I who LOST the way.
Walking, walking, walking—
we climbed over stone walls, barbed wire fences. I was able to sort out the path on the GPS, but it meant stepping (as Alfred Wainright expressed, “By creating your own path.”) This meant more miles for my friend. Our communion held as I scurried ahead to ‘capture’ the trail. Behind me my traveling companion, Lisa Marie (alias, Dipper), walked through the thick damp grasses—boots soaked, our feet damp…a deeper appreciation for the Art of Bogging…
(We have heard that tomorrow we would experience some bogs a waist deep).
Coming together on the path—
My heart resilient—“I have led you to endure MORE miles than the days unfolding?”
Her ‘kind’ heart in response, “I’m sorry I cannot keep step…I’m doing the best I can.”
My ache for her, her ache for me…
We were on the path—did the LOST-NESS give new meaning to unexpected acts?
The curtain closed!
“INDEED”—the curtain lifted…
We walked along stone fences fashioned, designed, meticulously laid marking the lands and holding in the lambs scattered like stars on a sky of green prairies.
A farm rose in the distance. I wandered toward the gate…
A father and his son were preparing the lambs to be sent off for breeding.
An acknowledgement was our single greeting
I told him where we were headed—
how we had been OFF the mark.
His ‘kindness’ overshadowed the pain I was experiencing…MIS-GUIDING our travel.
The farmer, the GATE KEEPER, Bill, said, “Come, sit in our garden—your destination NOT far…I’ll take you there.”
I echoed his words to Dipper—
Light in her eyes…
We sat in the garden’s splendor…
It felt like Eden.
We watched the father and son working—their dog, an artist in residence.
A simple sound of a whistle—the pup moved to the right or to the left. Independently, the four legged furry creature tended the flock. In the mountains, the pup reins in the lambs…so kind, the pup is to them. There is NO sense of anyone being threatened or harmed…it is a dance of love.
The father’s son, a young lad, stopped near the garden. On his face, he wore the privilege of keeping the fifteen hundred sheep with his dad. When the mothers give birth, the valleys full of tiny white clouds, burst with joy…finding their voices…the LAND loves them—feeds them, tends them AND in reply they feed the world.
The Gate Keeper took our packs, our poles and placed them in his auto—the sweet scent of manure penetrated the cabin. Or, perhaps was it us?
We all laughed—
A farmer left his field to bring two lasses to their dwelling.
He taught us lessons we would never have learned any other way. He shared his love for his two sons—his other son knowing this way of life NOT for him.
Today—the Gate Keeper became the Prodigal Father…
His ACTIONS erased any thought that we actually LOST our way…
What a find—
Here in this House of Kindness.