When I embrace this pilgrimage/walking adventure I am in the rewards are immense. Today I am in the home of a friend I met just a week ago at a workshop that I was introduced to by another friend. I made several instant friendships and have caught up with each of them in the past week, to talk and laugh and compare life notes.
In this home I am in today, there has been exhibited great trust in me in that she has gone to work and wont return until Monday, yet she has invited me in, provided me a roof and we ate trout last night. I met her grandson and we smiled at each other and I held him a little while.
This morning, as the little one and his Mum had a fairly torrid night, I offered to look after him if there was a need for his Mum to have a rest. Sure enough, the rest was needed at that very moment, and I found myself holding a beautiful baby walking around and marvelling at colourful things and counting lights and everything else until he began to show signs of drowsiness. The ones that all little ones show....head dropping, big yawns, trying valiantly not to sleep....but as I rumbled a gentle tone in my chest and walked around he fell into a sound sleep, so I picked up a book and began reading. He slept for maybe three quarters of an hour, resting his head against my chest, as I read. My attention was hardly on my book as the glorious feeling of sleeping baby in my arms wove its way through every inch of me.
Reason for gratitude: Instant friendship, trust of a new friend, shelter and food, trust to hold and nurture that little soul, trust and comfort to and from that little soul.
Some of this walking is quite hard. Some of the places I have to sleep are far from comfortable and test my resolve. Then these things happen and I can only drop back into a refreshed awe and wonder at the magnificence of such simple experiences. Marvel at having the time and opportunity to be in this place and brought into a new circle of people, halfway across the world who immediately welcome me.
When these simple things are still present in the world - and to my experience they are present wherever I have thus far explored, whether I understood the language or not, then the future is not dystopian.
There is an opportunity for utopia and it is not in some distant place. It is right where any one of us is. It is certainly right where I am today and I am happy to bathe in it.