by Edward Le Prieur
Recently I’ve taken to walking from my place of work to my house at the end of the day. It’s quite a long walk altogether measuring nearly 12 kilometers in one direction. The majority of the walk runs a long stretch of road with the ocean on one side, and the other is made up of cliffs and outcroppings of trees periodically with higher hills surrounding and the coastline fading completely out of sight. I suppose the key aspiration of me doing this was to test myself, and reducing my need to rely on others as I have no vehicle of my own.
The first night was quick, but in the morning my muscles were quite sore which is to be expected. Then subsequent nights were substantially less difficult. However just this night I had a particularity long day, little sleep the previous night and long working hours; before I even began to walk home my feet ached. I still didn’t halt, or cease in any manner, I thought of the birds and all the other animals of the earth. They all have their own forms of movement, and they do so effortlessly. When has man become so unequal in simply traversing the land in contrast to our forebears?
Something interesting happened though, with a few kilometers left I was losing my vitality. My legs burned as if my body was pumping gasoline instead of blood and my feet ached and burned as if they were hammered with hundreds of nails all at once. Then stopping I looked to the ground, and I saw a single leaf. Brown and withered it was laying in the dim light just revealed by the light of the sky. Not just any leaf; it was the leaf of an Oak!
Around my home Oak trees are sadly infrequent so I regarded the incidental finding of this one symbol and of my near loss of will at the same crux to be something of significance! Despite the feeling as if every bone in each of my feet was broken and my muscles hesitant. This one leaf rekindled what spirit I had despite my corporeal pains. Do not underestimate one thing in our world, insight and wisdom can come from places you never anticipate, and with such haste!