Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sometimes You Need To Walk

 I love intense sports. I love surfing and running and horseback riding... I love moving fast and feeling alive and pushing myself, but sometimes, I just need to walk. Today was one of those times, though I didn't realize it at first. My impending departure from France has me left with a million emotions, as every big change does. Things feel different now as two of my good friends have just left and I know I will soon be saying "goodbye", too. Sunday is my day off and I spent the morning organizing my room and going through my things. I had no idea what to do with my afternoon but I was feeling restless, pensive, and a bit down. There were no waves so I couldn't go surfing and the thought of running (especially in the heat of the day) wasn't terribly appealing. I would have loved to see friends but they are all either gone or were busy. I couldn't imagine staying in the house all day so I decided to take the car and go visit a small town not far from here called Pont Aven, which I had never seen before.
Pont Aven

The Port

As soon as I got there, I realized that walking around a bustling tourist town with people and cars was not at all what I wanted to do but I worked my way through the busy center towards the port and I stumbled upon a trail on the edge of town. It was exactly what I needed and I followed it as it wound along the edge of the water and into a perfectly green and lovely woods. The woods do something for my soul and being practically alone on that quiet trail was wonderful. I thought about my time in France and of times before and of all the places I have gone and all the wonderful people I have met. I thought about the things I love in life and how I wish I could have them all at the same. I happened upon a couple of horses in a field along the trail and my heart ached for the times when horses were my world. I walked past farms down a long, dirt, tree-lined road and I reminisced of other dirt, tree-lined roads through farmland in other parts of the world and the times that I had had on them. Occasionally, I passed people - families, couples, friends - and I longed to be with people that I love and care about. I dreamed about the future, too. What I will do, where I will go, who I will be, and who I will be with. I have so many dreams but really no idea where I will end up and I love thinking about the possibilities. I walked for a long time and I didn't want the trail to end. I wanted to walk until I couldn't walk anymore and just to be alone with my thoughts and memories and dreams.
My lovely little trail

Ponies :)
I can't remember the last time I just walked and thought like that and it felt so good. I'm always with other people or, when I'm alone, I'm distracted by my phone or computer or some activity and I didn't even know how much I needed it. When I finally came back to the town, I felt completely different. I calmly admired the pretty, French town, strolled past the little shops and restaurants, and waded in the river that flows under the bridge for which the town is named ("pont" is French for "bridge"). Then I bought myself and Italian ice, which I thoroughly enjoyed before making my way back home.