The end and the beginning. I had feared this day. But only in the last couple of days, because for a long time there had been no end and no beginning apart from the beginning and the ending of the day.
I had been enclosed in the day, lived the day like you live a life. Getting up in the morning, smiling, a full day ahead of me. Packing, moving my feet, a new road, new people, new stories. The smells, the sounds, the unexpected events. Things going wrong, things going right by going wrong, jumping, stumbling, embracing, standing still in the movement.
This last day was reserved by my parents. And it made sense. They gave me every day of my life, they gave me the end and the beginning. They taught me how to walk.
My mother had sent me an e-mail yesterday. Asking if my grandmother could come along too. Of course she could. In fact she was there already. And today they were all there. My mother, who at her heydays had 32 cats and a couple of dogs (amongst other animals), was there this morning when I woke up in the lonely forest, still wondering where on earth all those dogs I had heard were located and discovered that across the small path a cat and dog pension was located, hidden behind the trees. My grandmother, who loved flowers, when I started walking and entered the village of Auriol and saw the sign "ville fleurie", flower village. I petted all the cats I saw, drank my coffee the way my grandmother taught me to drink it. Bought a map. Remembered the man from Cuges-les-Pins whom I met last week just when I was looking at my route and who told me that I wouldn't be able to cross the mountains. They were too high. He said I should walk around them.
But I was walking with my father today. So there was no way around it.
I crossed the mountains. It took most of the day. My bag was heavy because I had collected some extra things in the last days. It was hot, I had to carry enough water. But I walked as if I had only just started walking, as if there was nothing on my back.
My mother stayed at the foot of the mountains. My father went all the way to the top when I decided to walk on after the Col de Bertagne. My grandmother accompanied me until the sun set and I saw Cuges-les-Pins in the far distance.
It still took me another 2 hours. And before I walked into the Nomadic Village I stopped and sat down at a bench in the middle of Cuges. I waited. But I wasn't sure what I was waiting for. For something to end or for something to begin.