With over 22 miles of the journey completed, I stood at the beach with only 4 miles separating us from my imaginary finish line. I was now walking like a cowboy, nursing blisters under my toes and aches behind both knees. I wasn’t sure if the tide was coming in or going out but the longer alternative route via road seemed unimaginable. I decided the tide was definitely on its’ way out. Not much of a risk, but what’s risk matter these days? If my daughter had gone with her friend to see Ariana Grande in Manchester… Oh she could so easily have went, it’s not outside the realm of possibility… I wouldn’t be able to scale the cliff face; I’d be trapped with the icy waves below, pounding at me mercilessly, cruelly absorbed back into the indifference of creation.
The town in the distance was hazy but clearly visible as an outline upon the seas surface like a shadowy pier. My son was guessing no more than an hours’ worth of walking still left to do. I doubled and raised him much more to his deflated morale. This day was all about quality ‘together time’. Just the two of us. Perhaps the power within that time to create a Sons’ memory of his Dad shuffling over pebbles and groaning for a hundred years still to come, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. My daughters’ friend now filled with lifelong memories, but of utter carnage. I stop myself imagining their painfully traumatic torn flesh as my helpless hands are unable to fix their little broken bodies. Emasculated, I drag my legs an inch further to my destination.
Stepping over stones ready to explode my foot-filled shoes I found sanctuary on the sand cushioning my now tiny strides. Half an hour in and our background was still in glorious technicolour. Our advance was pathetic. But at least the tide had behaved itself. It obeys natural laws, unlike the terrorist who attacks children. A child so easily yours or mine. I will not label it ‘hate’, I double and raise it much more than that. I‘d divorce God for its’ sheer brutality if it ever existed within nature. No, this is manmade and carries with it an unlimited quality of darkness that can never be described with words. Leaders need not understand nor sympathize with this league of evil, simply be repulsed and abhorred.
Finally, after we stop making backward glances, the rooftops take shape and the brickwork finds its’ red. The relief is measurable in the confident length our strides begin to take once more. We made it; walking a mixed terrain marathon in 12 hours. Not a record breaking achievement but each step eventually got us there. (It was a bus that got us back). Whatever path we are all treading upon with these cowardly obstacles, we will make it to our journeys end. I proudly found my Son is turning into a fine young adult with an affectionate love for life. That should be the natural law to our humanity. Thanks for the recent support you have shown on Mixcloud ♥ I hope our peaceful paths will cross again here soon.