Today’s Miles: 13
Total Miles: 2,883.7
Near Daaden, Germany – November 20, 2016
El’s kitchen table is filled with open jars of homemade jam and honey. Breakfast is over and nothing but crumbs on the plates remain. I look out the window at the grey sky and know I have to go soon, that I have to keep some momentum.
I took yesterday off. I let my legs rest and the skin of my feet heal. I did laundry and dried my tent. I recharged batteries and slept in. El cooked curry and rice that warmed on a cold day. I cooked tostones that reminded me of home.
“If I stay too long, I feel like I’ll never be able to move again,” I say.
El nods. She knows how it is. She hiked the Camino de Santiago a few years ago. I ask her about it, what she loved, and she tells me about the signs and symbols along the way. They were always there, marking the path forward. They showed you where to go.
“All you needed to do was follow them,” she says. “Every day you woke and knew what you needed to do. They made your way forward clear.”
She pauses for moment, thinking back to the trail thinking back to the days of following the shells west toward Santiago.
“I wish life were so clear,” she says.
I nod. It’s one of the things I love most out here. In the rain, in the cold, on good days and bad, no matter what, you know you just have to keep moving forward along the path.
Siegen falls away behind me in the afternoon. I cross a low hill, drop through a village, and rise back into another forest where I camp among the trees. I look at my map and frown for a moment when I see how little I moved.
“Just eight miles as a bird flies,” I sigh.
Then I smile.
“Eight miles closer,” I think. “Eight miles in the right direction.”