Friday, April 3, 2009
I load my backpack: bread, cheese, apple, jacket, rain gear, sunglasses (I am hopeful), water. Ah.. forgot the water! I reach for an empty Cola bottle.
After a week of work and rain, Marjatta insisted I take a free day. My injured leg is sufficiently scabbed together and I am excited to walk a piece of the revered Franciscan Peace Trail. Mina, the youngest collie, leads me out; this is welcomed guidance as my navigational skills tend to be par with that of a lost sheep.
Once the collie returns to her regular day-time job, I go off course. But lost sheep tend to flock together and I encounter another hiker asking *me* for Franciscan Peace Trail directions.
Lucia is a young Saint Francisco pellegrino (pilgrim) from Roma. On this consecrated journey, she is traveling by foot for 16 days, 350 kilometers, carrying a large florescent green backpack and propped up by hiking poles. She wears several wooden devotional crosses, two around her neck, wrist, and camera. Frequently grimacing Lucia limps when her feet move inside the worn-out tennies. Her toe is black.
We stop at a farm to ask for directions. The postman pulls up, joins the conversation and offers us a ride to the destination town of Assisi.
“No. I cannot” Lucia explains. “San Francisco buried in Assisi. I walk to San Francisco.”
We continue together, cross rivers, pass fields of white flowers and spot quintessential Italian villages in the distance. At the point when I turn around to head back home, Lucia has completed 11 of today’s 27 kilometer sojourn; her remaining 16 K are daunting. She speaks in faith as we part way “I hope arrive in Assisi. I say Barack Obama. ‘Yes I can.’”
Back at Ca’Mazzetto, Pasquale reports on the status of Little Stephen. His adopted mother is attentive but because she did not come to term with her aborted lamb, she has no milk. Nonetheless, the pair keeps trying.
“Is there hope she may yet produce milk?” I ask.
“Yes. We hope” he replies.
I unpack the backpack and remove the sunglasses from my face.