From rugged hills to city streets.

The last few days on London has provided a re-entry into the world, a lovely and colorful world where people scurry around with their roller bags and trainers, where cocktails are offered instead of lager and fries. Well, fries are still on every plate regardless of the menu.

But everywhere you listen there are languages I’m unfamiliar with. There are families, people who are so different than me. Somehow it makes me feel at home. It is a beautiful landscape.

Too, the architecture. The old and the new side by side and on top of each other. The history that is so familiar here. In New Mexico, it is something I’ve always appreciated— the history that is still present.

St. Pancras International Train Station built in 1868 (I think)
The Booking Office at St. Pancras, now a bar.

During our time on the Pennine Way, I lost track. I actually did not know the time or the day. I barely knew where I had walked from or where I was going. I became present. Present with the smells, the wind and the smell of cow shit and fresh cut grass. It was actually a bit surreal to be walking and really have no idea where you are. Even at the end of the day, in bed, dark quiet skies, but no idea where. I never realized how good that would feel. I could not imagine the feeling of not having “knowing what I was doing.” But damn, it is a lovely feeling.

Back in London, I was happy to continue this sense of wandering. Even with family. Cousins shared meals with us, toured us and gave us a few proper English lessons. There is plenty Ric has forgotten or my Kansas City has set it aside. It was nice to enjoy tea and tea cakes. And onion and cheese tarts and white wine on Ric’s cousin’s porch for a glorious afternoon of reminiscing and nostalgia.

I am thankful for the time and the pace with which we have enjoyed the last few days.

Now as we head back to New Mexico, my melancholy is almost overwhelming. I love the routine of my daily life. My dog. My home. And I do not want to give up the Pennine Way. I do not want to give up the easiness, the wit and the quiet we shared. Already I want to plan for the next one.

Thames taken from the top floor of the Tate Modern
British Museum

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