When Andy Merrifield made his first trip to America aged ten, he vowed that one day he would leave his native Liverpool and live in New York.
He eventually got there, but his dream quickly turned sour.
In 2003, weary of city life and fed up with university teaching, he moved to central France and embarked upon a journey of the soul, walking amid the ruins and spectacular vistas of the Auvergne. This book is the story of that slow pilgrimage, on which his only companion is Gribouille, a tender and intelligent donkey with soft, thick fur on his brow and calm, dark eyes.
Shadowed by Robert Louis Stevenson, who 130 years earlier trekked through another part of the region with the donkey Modestine, Merrifield gradually settles into the purposeful pace of his journey, allowing him to confront himself, as well as the larger mysteries of existence.
He marvels at his tranquil surroundings and revels in the oddities of French rural life, musing all the while on the subtle wisdom of his companion, and the humble virtues of donkeys throughout history. The Wisdom of Donkeys reminds us that observing, being mindful, and being present in the moment are essential to a fulfilled life. It teaches us that enlightenment is all around us if we only take the time to seek it.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 276 pages
- Publisher: Short Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 05/03/2009
- Category: Travel writing
- ISBN: 9781906021375