To walkI was stuck in the mud with my left foot and was afraid my last hour had come, the mud sucked so hard. Fortunately, I hadn’t yet put my other foot on the embankment that rain had washed down the slope and slid across the road, and which I thought I’d hop over. I squatted, leaned back and pushed off, the left foot came free with a pop, the shoe was lost.
Just as well, I remember on a walk with a sister-in-law and her children, a ferocious wild boar ran toward us. My dog was there. Usually she was a bit dorky, but now the wolf in her was awakening; she confronted. And beautiful was that time when a brother and his son were taken off a mountain in the Basque Country in a helicopter. They were lost, out of cell phone range, but glowed with the thrill long after their rescue. And the insurance didn’t even have to be called.
The sound of swifts on a city night
Even older is the memory of the rotting egg that I had to carry on a stick folded into a bread doll. Something about Easter and a parade – while as Protestants we didn’t do that kind of Roman nonsense. Or the warm flower stems in my sweaty children’s hands during the Evening Four Days. A sunstroke. Get lost endlessly. The sound of swifts on a city night.
They are memories like everyone else has. And they all have to do with walking. The most practiced physical activity of the Dutch, the easiest of all sports. It’s an effort that makes me happier, even if my memories sometimes seem to tell otherwise. In this extra appendix we therefore include it for the Alternative Four Days Marches. ‘Nijmegen’ has been canceled due to corona, but whoever wants to can move for four days from 20 July – even if you are confined to a wheelchair. Just from home or wherever you are. This can be done alone or with others, it is in the open air and healthy, according to experts it leads to a longer life, has a calming effect and is sometimes adventurous – we are made for it. If you’re lucky, you’ll get stuck in a mudslide or run into game.
And you don’t have to get lost anymore, as long as you the app of the Alternative Four Days Marches used. Have fun reading, but don’t dwell on it too long.
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