The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

When they say things come in three I do not think you expect that to be bankruptcy, homelessness and finding out you have a terminal illness. Where can you go from there? What are the next steps?

It is hard to restart at any time but to restart later on in life must be so difficult. So the options are you wallow in the path ahead of you or you think fuck it and throw caution to the wind. Where would you go?

Ray and Moth decide on wild camping and walking the 630 mile path from Somerset to Dorset via Devon and Cornwall. So is this crazy or courageous? A bit of both probably but it also demonstrates love and dedication. It shows a partnership that is testing all its strengths and being able to put your faith in each other. For me it demonstrates resilience and determination.

The path gives Ray and Moth hope when they feel they are failing. It gives them courage to fight when they feel their world is crumbling around them.

Whilst I have never been in this situation (and hope I never will be) I do know what restarting is like. For me it pointed out friends who did not actually care but it also highlighted the friends who would go the whole hog. It gave me shoulders to cry on and hugs whenever required. It gave me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel however that may look. It gave me days where I wanted to stay under the duvet and never come out but it gave me days when I wanted to rule the world. The one thing I did learn is nothing is forever and yes there will be bad days where crying and putting one foot in front of the other seems like the only thing you can do but then there will be days where that beam of sunshine will come and for that moment you know it will get better.

When I got to the end of the book I wondered did Moth and Ray get their perfect ending or did they just get an ending? What I do know is they got a chance to thrive and take steps they may never have taken. They got a chance to live and see life in a different way. They put their complete faith in each other and in an ironic way they found their way home.

Our journey had drained us of every emotion, sapped our strength and our will. But then, like the windblown trees along our route, we had been re-formed by the elements into a new shape that could ride out whatever storms came over the bright new sea. I thought about the two teenagers wrapped up in the essence of each other, of a passion that had lasted for most of my life, of heavy rain and burning sun, of a peregrine soaring free on the thermals of the cliff edge, of two molecules that were held together by little more than an electrical charge, a charge that had been strong enough to form a powerful bond, but a bond that one day soon might break. At last I understood what homelessness had done for me. It had taken every material thing that I had and left me stripped bare, a blank page at teh end of a partly written book. It had also given me a choice, either to leave that page blank or to keep writing the story with hope. I chose hope.”

And let’s me honest who wants perfect anyway – where is the fun in that?!

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