Near Noailhac, France – February 10, 2017
The wind keeps ripping across the land day after day. Clouds build and break apart. Nothing seems solid above. Impending change fills the air. I know the edge of this uncertain sky is coming and with it rain. Rain always leads or follows the changing skies.
“Two days,” the forecast says.
But the mountains end too. I don’t know their name, but I know they fade into flat land that doesn’t push air up, doesn’t break apart clouds, doesn’t leave the sky unsettled. If I can reach the edge, I can sneak by before the first drops fall.
So I move fast, walking forward as clouds rip across above. When my feet hurt, when my back aches, when I get bored and want to sit, I think of rain and I keep walking.
I walk as the sun rises and brightens the world. I walk as the day stretches on and light filters in between towers of clouds overhead. I walk as the sun sets in a pink sky and gives way to to the moon rising on the opposite horizon. Then I walk a little more, through a sleepy old town glowing in electric lights, past dark farmhouses, and down old dirt roads until I see the city of Castres glowing along the horizon and the last curves of mountains fading in the moonlight.