The words that made me cry. And gave me wings.

Mihai TufaI already told my parents about my decision to set out on a walk around the world adventure – The World Photo Tour, as I call it, more like The Walk Around The World Photo Tour actually. I will let you know about their reaction in one of the following posts. Until then, ‘Here’s some poetry for the road!’, some good friends said.

The next persons to tell about my walk around the world taking photos were my employers. Although they’re actually friends, true beautiful people, as we didn’t quite had a employee-employer relationship. And they are Simon and Rachael Meyer, whom I mentioned in the People That Inspired Me section.

Well, as I started to tell them what I am up to, I started to cry. The moment was very emotional, for even if I didn’t see them very so often in the past months, I know I am going to miss them like hell. Working beside them in the studio or on the field at different venues and events created a very special bond between me and them since they are all so kind, so helpful, so understanding and so everything.

So, after I told them I am going to walk around the world, and explained to them my reasons for doing so, silence followed. I was a bit scared, mainly afraid that I will get a reaction based on a possible feeling that I am letting them down. But it wasn’t that at all. Well, possibly that as well, but more emotion followed. It was then when it came to my understanding that Rachael’s father was an adventurer as well, travelling many times on foot, all throughout Europe. Almost wordless in the surprise that I provided them with, struggling with tears of remembrance and joy, they gave me something that made me burst while I read it: a poem written by Rachael’s father, an adaptation after Sweet Stay-at-Home by William Henry Davies. Here goes.

Sweet stay at homes, dear well-contents,
Who want for no strange Continents,
You have not felt your heart leap
From gentle movement within, so deep.
You have not ridden by Mediterranean seas,
Scented ‘herbs de Provence’ on every breeze.

You have not slept on mountain tops
With Pyrenean bears and forget-me-nots,
Or in Flanders meadows, poppies red never ever made your bed.
Never passed by Nevers, Bernadette and Lourdes
Or climbed to Roncesvalles, or gazed on Roland’s Sword.
Never scaled ‘Chaise-Dieu’ or the small steep steps of Puy de Dom
Nor crossed the wild Camargue where the black bulls come from.
Cicadas, white horses, flamingos pink
And those biting mosquitoes that make you think
Of cities, of Cannes, Nice and Saint Tropez
A much easier life style than that of ‘the way’.
Of Moors, Infidels, martyrs, Pedrofita, Foncebadon, Sahagun.
Time warped, centuries old villages, ‘neath fierce Spanish sun.
O Cebreiro’s pallozas, miracles, the Holy Grail,
Ponferada’s Knight Templars, steel clad in chain mail.

This Pilgrim’s Journey’s worth much more than gold
To fire the memory as the body grown old.
Brings thrills to a mind, still as curious as was
That yellow brick road to the Wizard of Oz.
Camino! As future adventures unfold
Of walking, of riding, suffering and pain
‘neath that sun, wind and rain of Galician Spain

In this new millennium, nothing better
Than to plant your wooden cross on Ibaneta
And call out ‘Saint James’ in the distance so far.
Ask for his strength from the field of the star.
To cross mountains, meseta, and rivers of fame.
‘James, give me strength, let me ride again.’

Sweet stay at homes, dear well-contents, who yearn for no strange Continents;
Maybe, perhaps one day you’ll ride from Eastern Spain to the other side,
And feel in those hills the vibrations of Paul, Simon and Terry – ‘Los Bandaleros’!

I then knew that my journey already began. ‘I will walk around the world!’, I kept saying in a whisper, smiling and sharing my tears.

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