She, an elephant of the African plains, lived to the age of seventy. Strong and guiding, her migration led her to past many wonders, eighty kilometres a day, year upon year. For two million kilometres she walked.
A few years back I went on a walk with my father. The Avon was running with its usual mild ferocity, neither fast nor slow, the kind of course that trances you, movements so synonymous to your step that you may just as well be in the flow itself.
‘Mistletoe,’ my father said, pulling me from the river. ‘Do you see? Up there in that poplar.’
I turned my gaze to the bordering forest. ‘I’m not sure what I’m looking at Dad.’
‘Mistletoe, there,’ he pointed once more, beyond the dark trunk of a nearby poplar and its splaying limbs, high into the tree’s canopy. ‘You see those balls of foliage?’
I nodded. ‘That’s mistletoe?’
‘Yes. It’s a parasite, feeds off the nutrients of the host tree.’
I was amazed. What had always been a showpiece, hung from the rafters of a wintering home, was now alive, bathed in the inspiring light of context. I had never known its place in the world, merely assumed. What a marvel it was to see that mistletoe, hanging from nature’s very own rafters. From the ground, in the safe arms of my subconscious, I climbed towards it– climbed upon it, examined its contours, its berries, its leaves, its parasitic tendrils rife upon its host.
In recent months I have relied on the thoughts of my readers in the production and release of my first published book, A Walk to the Water. And what marvelous contributors you were. Now drifting about the ether, I thought it the right time to share some of the wonderful feedback the book has received. So here it is.
Holding a book launch in my home city, I was delighted to see many friendly faces.
Trail Angels from the path were bountiful, and how fortunate we were for their help. After A Walk to the Water was released, I sent them all a copy.
Of all the reviews received, my favourite are those written by hand.
“For lovers of intrepid travel,” Hostelling International wrote, “this is the ultimate read for the road.”
Some years ago I undertook a degree at Plymouth University on the south coast of England. My time there was invaluable. After hearing of A Walk to the Water, the university produced a case study.
A Walk to the Water can be bought from all major online book stores as a paperback and an ebook. To get your hands on copy of A Walk to the Water, please follow the links below: