I can’t quite believe that I have just one more day to walk. After months and months of planning, the walk4andy is finally coming to an end. It will all be over tomorrow bar the collecting of sponsorship monies for VHL UK/Ireland.
Or will it? Because I don’t want it to be over. I know that I have come a long way but I don’t think I’ll want to stop walking after this. Right at the start I had people asking me what I might do next and I surprised myself by answering with a few ideas I had already been mulling over. Someone said I’d catch the bug!
One of the most interesting things about doing a long walk like this is the changing scenery you get to enjoy. I have moved from marshes to hills, from towns to wilderness, from lowlands to city streets.
Today, the penultimate day, it has been particularly noticeable, starting out at the Robin Hood Inn and walking by vast fields of rape seed just on the cusp of flowering. And then today’s journey ended by walking through the outskirts of Newcastle, past the sub station and industrial estate (including the sweet-smelling Warburtons factory) and into a large residential area.
This journey has been peppered with transitions, and then there was my big transition into my fifth decade just before I started. Times of transition are both an opportunity and an occasion for grief. 2013 was a massive time of transition for me. The external change was sudden but the internal one has been much more like the gradual move from fields to factories, from hills to houses.
It is a commonplace to say that every ending has a new beginning but it is so because it is true. For a new chapter to begin, the old one must come to an end, even if it does so with a bit of a cliffhanger.
I am more than a little nervous about how this chapter will end and what the next one will look like. As I said at the beginning, I want it to be different, I’m just not sure how. But I know there are new things I have learnt on this walk4andy that I hope will be sown like seeds in the soil of whatever God has in store for me on my return to Leicester.
I’m reminded of a well-known hymn …
Through all the changing scenes of life,
In trouble and in joy,
The praises of my God shall still
My heart and tongue employ.