Today’s Miles: 23.4
Total Miles: 4,117.9
Vendargues, France – February 4, 2017
I don’t notice the woman at first. I am walking down a street and her words blend into the background. Why would anyone be talking to me? I look up and see her waiving behind a wrought iron fence.
She is talking to me. Her turquoise head scarf is brilliant against the grey of the day. She holds up a white bag and pull a small loaf of bread from inside.
“Monsieur,” she says. “For you.”
I look at her and take a few confused steps to the fence. She lifts the bag over the top and I reach up to take it. Inside, I see a dozen sticks of bread, green olives baked into the dough.
She smiles and I smile back. Her face is as bright as the turquoise fabric wrapped around it, glowing in the grey of the day. Before I can say anything more than thank you, she turns and disappears, leaving me to wonder about it all.
What just happened? Why? I stand confused for a few moments, then slip off my pack to stash the bag away. It doesn’t matter. It just is.
I eat the bread throughout the day, a piece here and there as grey clouds roll overhead, as the sky breaks and solidifies again, as mud sticks to my boots. Every time I pull another piece out and taste the olives, I think if her smile, the turquoise fabric of her hijab, the kindness of a stranger, and how the dark sky is not as dark as it looks.