and they are off!


it was a festive group of 76

(yes, we lost one more between the bus ride and the start)

that gathered at the base of the giant peach.


photos were snapped

small talk indulged.

lots of nervous laughter

bushes were watered

and only a few using a last opportunity to take a load off their feet.


but no one really knows what to do with this last 15 minutes.

nothing hurts yet.

no feet to tend

the water bottles and belly are full.


in 15 minutes the cigarette will light 

and the minutes will become precious.


their old world will start to fade

and the new life 

the life on the open road

will take over.


as each hour passes life grows simpler.





those things that we take for granted

in this normal world

will come to fill all of the dark recesses of the mind.

because, after they touched the peach and walked out the gate

those things were no longer guaranteed.

starting now,

those things have to be found.

they have to be earned.


and moving down that white line.

that is life now.

moving one step at a time.

every minute distance requiring an effort.

and so many steps lie in front of them

that it is beyond the scope of the mind to imagine them.

the rock is a dream

a hope

a goal.


or maybe it is

a legend

a figment of the imagination.

an impossibility


there are mountains to cross

turns to find

sights to see

problems to solve

adventures to live.

hopelessness to overcome


and pain

laughter and joy

miraculous moments

when the sheer wonder of living

fills every fiber

when the unexpected gift of bottle of cold water 

brings tears to the eye.


there are many uncertainties

between the peach and the rock.

the adventures have barely begun.


do not pity those lonely figures beside the road.



bleary eyed

nursing half bottles of hot water

and hoping to find even filling station food.


for these next few days they will experience life

in a way most of us never experience it.

the way it can never be experienced

when basic needs are a given.

and comfort and ease are the norm.


only when you have the least

can you truly live life to its fullest.


and over the next 10 days

these “poor bastards” have a lot of life to live.

Categories: HOTS