The Power of Written Word
When the right combination of words and phrases come together to form a carefully constructed thought, something magic happens. For the reader, it can spark profound insights that reach deep into the soul, opening hearts and changing lives. But for me as a writer, it’s a visceral experience. Artfully crafted prose invokes within me a very real, physical sensation.
The salty Mediterranean air blew inland from the coast and danced across my nose. A long, slender shadow cast by the morning sun stretched out awkwardly on the pavement in front of me as I marched west with my bulky backpack. The gravity of what I had set out to do finally began to sink in. My best estimates showed it would take me nearly sixty days to cover almost a thousand miles by foot through the south of France and the north of Spain. This was no vacation; it was more like an endurance test. I had only just begun a journey that was sure to challenge me not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally in ways I couldn’t yet imagine.
At the 6.5-kilometer countdown the GR78 turned and guided me into a hallway, carpeted with thick green grass and walled by impenetrable berry bushes and young fruit trees. All perspective lines met at the center point on the horizon and no matter how much effort I put forward, my headway was nearly imperceptible. I was on a treadmill. After traveling at a moderate pace for what felt like hours, the separation between the two leafy partitions finally appeared, along with another trail marker at the end of the corridor. As I eagerly approached, I tried to be optimistic about my progress. “I gotta be almost there—one or two kilometers more, max!” But when I was finally close enough to read the sign, I froze in horror: Pamiers, 5.5 km. Stunned, I protested aloud, “What the hell!? That can’t be right! I know I walked way more than just one damn kilometer!”