Walked: 17.4 Km (149 Km total)
In every long walk there’s an inner journey and an outer journey. What is ideal is that they synchronize: what happens on the outer journey supports the inward journey. Once you recognize this for yourself, you may recognize it for others.
I walked three days with a French woman of around my age who spoke perfect Spanish. She was a far left vegetarian of the kind that can become tiresome because of the ideological proselytism. Fortunately, and to her full credit, she wouldn’t flinch or protest at my direct requests that “we speak about something else” when topics turned too emotional to hold a constructive dialogue.
At some point we were sitting in a park enjoying an ice cream. Because of Saint John, kids were throwing firecrackers. She said
—“When refugees from the Syrian war came to France, a festivity like this took place. Kids were throwing firecrackers and the poor refugee children suffered so much because of their PSTD. Of course, they could only associate bangs with bombs and threats to their lives”.
—“So, are you suggesting that firecrackers should be banned?”.
—“I would surely like so”.
I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. “you’ve never thrown a fire cracker!”. She coyly confirmed my intuition.
—“Well, then you’re like the politician who bans things he doesn’t understand. Fortunately we can solve this at this very moment”.
A child with a large bag of firecrackers was sitting next to us, and I explained that my friend had never set a firecracker, and asked him for the most simple and innocuous firecracker he had. He kindly produced one of those little bags that you throw to the floor and pop.
She hesitated and ended throwing it with the force of a little girl (for she was a little girl in the matter of fire crackers!), but it popped and I could see the excitement in her eyes. I asked the kid for a real cracker you could light up. He gave it directly to her and explained how to light it up and where to throw it away.
Again she hesitated with the lighter, but finally she found the courage to let the fuse burn and threw it away. It banged. She shrieked with glee and gave me a big hug. She was excited and happy.
The topic of banning fireworks never came up again.