After the storm, the rain has come. Finally. We’ve had rain before, but it was never continuous like today. I have been waiting for this, not because I like it, but because once you’ve experienced it you know it isn’t as bad as you might have thought, and you don’t fear it any more.
Our group is very small, almost all of us are veterans. I know many of the people from before we crossed the border. With rare exceptions, we have been walking every single day, every single kilometer of France up until now. ‘176 kilometres to Paris’, says one of the signs.
After all the people we have lost lately, we have received some precious reinforcements. From Spain and from France. Two girls who got to walk in the pouring rain on their very first day, well over thirty kilometres. They resisted, and they arrived with a smile, even though one of them fell to her knees and kissed the ground after we had entered the village limits of Beaugency.
Beaugency is another pretty little village, but it doesn’t enchant me like the phantom villages of the south. The Loire valley is a very rich region, and you notice it. Beauty is cultivated here, it doesn’t grow in the wild.
The relief within the group is still very much tangible after the Pretorians left yesterday morning. Now that the tension has loosened we can laugh about ourselves again. People are bringing us food, and they are received with open arms, even though we have little possibility to transport everything. Comrade Alexis is confident. “We are a bunch of disorganised anarchists, but things will work out, thanks to some mysterious divine providence.”
“It isn’t divine providence”, says Jesus Christ, “it’s the providence of people that don’t know who we really are.”