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We have been promised warm and sunny weather today. Maybe the last warm day of the year. I took a whole day off for this, a whole day of idling through the dunes and the forest. It is still early when I arrive, a bleak almost full moon shows up in the western sky. There is quiet, all you hear are birds, the forest breathes morning. My lower back and leg muscles enjoy the movement and my spine happily moves along.

A couple of kilometres down the path, a man is intensely busy taking pictures of a bunch of mushrooms. He lights the scene with a lamp. I can hear the repetitive click of his camera. How many pictures can you take of a bunch of mushrooms? He doesn’t notice the walker. A schoolclass also comes into the forest, under strict guidance of their teacher telling them to behave, I imagine that if they still want to have fun today, they just have to be naughty. At ten o’clock I hear churchbells on the wind, they don’t sound like funeral, more like wedding bells. The path is strewn with early and unfullgrown acorns. They are still falling where I walk. How big is the chance that one will fall on your head? How much chance do you have that a bird shits on your head? Or that you get a tick bite? None of which has ever happened to me. The one of ticks may be viewed as a small miracle, seeing as how I walk so much and rather carelessly through shrubs and forests. The chestnusts are also early this year. I gather them for my chestnut dinner later, in November. They are also rather small thanks to a hot and dry summer. A summer that as far as I am concerned could have lasted till Christmas. On the free roaming path for dogs I meet my eternal adversary; dogs and especially their owners always get to me.

Thoughts come up; about the choices that I make, about how I am going to shape this intensive masters that I started, about customers that I still need to contact. They come and flow away again. Some emotional ones stay and ask for a bit of attention.

In the afternoon I find a nice hill where I stretch my legs and almost naked enjoy the warmth of the sun. There is quiet around me, only in the far distance can I hear the shouts of children. It is a conscious joy; this could be the last warm day of the year, after all. Late in the afternoon, when the shadows grow long, a stillness comes over the dunes. A deep stillness, a golden stillness in which you don’t have to think or judge anything anymore. I listen to it. Slowly it permeates my skin and settles in my inner being.

I leave the dunes before the setting sun reaches the point  where loneliness begins. And luckily also just before a large gang of loud (male) MTB’s makes their presence known.

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