Picking Up the Trail - Day 11by Thomas Zahn - 2021-04-24
The lockdown ended here, just more than 1 week ago, and we are now allowed to leave our home district, to visit the countryside. Just in time for the Spring. After an unusually warm spell at the end of March, the weather returned to a more seasonable oscillation between cold nights and warm days, with the occasional flurry, thunderstorm, and rainbow. A world full of bird’s song and new buds bursting from myriad bare branches. It is poised to explode into color. The colors of Spring are in the wings, and today was perhaps the last day before a full-blown orchestra of life.
Lent has passed, and the Feast of the Resurrection is still new. Unbelievable as it may be, the cold retreats, leaving only a slight frost on the morning pane of glass. Earlier still the morning comes, and its call, to wake and move. Back to the path that was left covered in snow and ice. The cold night surrenders to the warmth of day. By 9am we are on our way, the Way of St. James. It is as though we are visiting a friend whose been asleep, in a comma for 3 months.
Marie dropped Otik and I at the intersection where we left off in Jan., during our last day trip. On that unseasonably warm day, we walked to Krašov Castle, then back to Kozojedy. We managed today by having Marie drive ahead, while I walked. She parked in Buček, and walked back to meet us. She then accompanied us from Buček for a few kilometers, before turning back.
Otik and I continued on foot, despite his best efforts, and natural instinct, to herd us back together. He luckily gave up, and following me, we got lost. In my own defense, the signage here was not exactly clear. A sign had been placed on the path, a detour up a steep slope, where there was no sign of a path at all. Facing the prospect of getting completely lost, I found an opening in the wall of wood beside the bare and freshly planted field. Nothing more than a deer’s track, back down the steep slope into a wall of young fir trees. A dead end, until Otik, spooked by an Elk began to bark, hair on end.
And so, we retreated. Following the tree line of closely planted firs, we found a ravine to follow down, through dry branches, on loose stones. Another 100 meters down and we came to the original path. There, behind us, was another sign, giving the same misleading directions. I shook my head, and wondered after all that, how many others were fooled.
Another 2 kilometers, and the path emptied onto a busy road with no shoulder. The sign here indicated 2 more kilometers. Oh Well! Even these inconveniences, though, could not dampen our spirits, though my knees were now feeling the effects of the slope I had left behind. By now it was warm, and we were hungry. Low and behold, Marie had found an open restaurant, selling pizza through the window. The special of the day was jalapeño, and a free cold Pepsi.
Thus, we picked up the trail. Not only symbolically, but we found the same peace and quiet in our souls, simply by finding our way back to where we had left off. Today, we walked through a world returning to life. Despite all difficulty and inconvenience, we found ourselves content, and looking forward to another day, and the trails to come.