Walking the Southwest Coastal Path


Day 28
Mevagissey to Fowey 14 miles

It was a hard slog this morning as we wound our way up and out of Mevagissey. Squalls and the ubiquitous English shower plagued our forward progress and I was starting to resent the coastal path! We were passing some rather beautiful grassy headlands but the coastal path was confined to narrow pathways that were no more than eight inch troughs of muddy slip & slides hemmed in by barbed wire fences on one side, and gorse, bramble, and nettle hedges on the other. As I looked to my left, where lovely grass covered, no access, slopes were within easy access to all well intentioned walkers, my more creative energies were being ill spent on such colorful internal dialog such as “wtf, why has this god forsaken farmer got it our for me? Confining me to the narrowest, and most undesirable path around this coastline that belongs to everyone, while even the freakin cows have better access to roaming!?” And that was where all my energy was going; not physical energy, as the walking wasn’t challenging in that sense, but my emotional energy. It was pure judgement day.
But then the “dawning hour” as Thoreau expresses it, or an internal awakening, occurs and you see yourself through the imagery of myth and stories where all those ‘thoughts a thinking you’ are just the same as the ghosts, devils, and demons that thwart the hero or heroine upon their mythic adventures. There is no leisure, freedom, or independence within these moments, and there can be no Walker, or Knight Errant, sauntering off to the Holy Lands, for the requisite capital for all Walkers who wish to take a true walk are leisure, freedom, and independence. Leisure, derived from the Latin licere to ‘be allowed’, isn’t so much for me the capacity to do whatever one wishes whenever one wants, as much as it is the inner stillness of the mind that enables one to be free and independent in the moment. Thoreau claims that it comes only by the grace of God and that it requires a direct dispensation from Heaven.
And I must agree for I came to see the error of my ways, and had a change of thinking. Rather than the judgement, there was an actual gratitude for all the Ramblers, Rite to Roam, and Open Space people who worked selflessly over time to insure that I could be walking this path in this moment. And as if by magic, right before my very awakening eyes were the most lushest, overladen blackberry bushes which poured blackberries into my outstretched fingers at the slightest touch. The choice was then mine; I could either dwell in an eight inch mental muddy rut, or digestively partake in the fruit and bounty of the land! Blackberries at this time of year are never better. And good stories always serve one well if we but listen to them.


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