Voie de Vézelay, Day 35



First you paint a cage

With it’s door open

Then paint

Something nice

Something simple

Something lovely

Something useful

For the bird……..

                         Jaques Prévert



Les Landes with 2.5 million acres of forest was a long stretch for me too to walk through. I started to memorize the last poem I had taken with me, the poem of Jaques Prévert “ To Paint a Picture of a Bird (Poure faire le portrait d’un oiseau).



The white sand I was walking on was ideal for making patterns.
The white sand I was walking on was ideal for making patterns.


After hours of walking on former railroad tracks, I reached the village of Bostens, where I entered the church. A recording of Verdi’s Ave Maria was starting to play. The music went right into my heart. The many hours of solitude had made me very receptive.



Apsis of the Romanesque church in Bostens
Apsis of the Romanesque church in Bostens



In the village of Gaillères, I had lunch in the Restaurant “Au Coeur des Landes.” I enjoyed the French cuisine and had for the first time a dessert called “Gateau Basque”, a cake typical for the Basque country. It showed me that I was coming closer to the Spanish border.



Gothic church in Gaillères
Gothic church in Gaillères



Poppy and I
Poppy and I



View from the attic of the church
View from the attic of the chur


In the town of Bougues, I met the German biker Michael. He planned to stay overnight in the same refuge in the town Mont-de-Marsan, six miles away from Bougues. He promised to tell the hospitaliér that I was for sure coming.



Marker of the Way in Bourgues.
Marker of the Way in Bourgues.



Michael on his bike riding on former railroad tracks
Michael on his bike riding on former railroad tracks


During the last hours to the town of Mont-de-Marsan, I started to recite the Heart Sutra and forgot the burning feet and all the other aches from walking miles and miles on the hard asphalt.



View to the city of Mont-de-Marsan with Gothic house
View to the city of Mont-de-Marsan with Gothic house


Thanks to Michael, the hospitaliér did wait for me and showed me the room where I could stay. It was a very nice place. I bought the dinner in a boulangerie close by. When I entered the bakery, the space was filled with the soft sound of hundreds of humming bees. They discovered the sweetness of the cakes and where crawling all over cookies and cakes. Nobody seemed to care.



wasps on the cakes
wasps on the cakes



Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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