Clovelly – Hartland Quay (10.3 miles)
Distance from Minehead – 109 miles / Distance toPoole– 523.9 miles
Today has been a day of pain. As I crossed the 100 mile mark I noticed a nagging pain on one of my toes on my right foot. After a few more miles I decided to go against the number one rule and take my boot off mid walk. I rearranged my sock and found my first blister. Boo. I am generally quite good with my feet and don’t suffer blisters often, so I was most annoyed that my haste in getting my socks and boots on had caused my toe to suffer.
Several hours later as I was clambering over one of the many stiles of the day I went over on my ankle and fell on my backside! I HATE stiles – they are evil contraptions if you have a dog to try and get over or if you struggle to lift your legs after a tiring day’s walking.
Unfortunately it was my right ankle that I went over on, concentrating the day’s pain in one area at least! I couldn’t believe it, 100 miles and nothing and now in the space of a couple of miles I am in pain from two incidents.
As I hobbled along I was trying to take my mind off the pain and what better way to do that than by admiring the stunning scenery. This part of the walk has some of the most dramatic and breathtaking cliffs and rock formations. It is truly awe inspiring and I cannot imagine how people can see these sights and not believe in a creative God. I feel so blessed at the opportunity to appreciate God’s gift of these beautiful surroundings and the wonderful views.
I then realise, quite belatedly I am ashamed to say, that the pain I feel in my toe and ankle is also a gift from God. Much as I am not a fan of being in pain it is this pain which tells me that I have done myself harm and that I need to take care of myself as I walk up, down and along the dramatic cliffs. Without this warning system I may have continued to skip (?) along doing more and more damage, and heaven forbid, I would have been unable to finish this epic walk. I have seen far too many people with leprosy who unknowingly have done irreversible damage to their feet and legs because of a loss of feeling and sensation.
Some of God’s gifts, such as the beautiful scenery and glorious creation, are easy to see and appreciate, and some, such as pain, maybe harder to recognise. But they are all given with the same level of love and care and I am determined to keep my eyes open to them all.