世界一長い墓参り(徒歩日本縦断#101〜#104)

だいぶ遅くなりました。

第二の故郷佐世保でゆっくり休養していたのです。ということで佐賀の伊万里から佐世保に辿り着いて再スタートまでを一気にどうぞ

11月22日。101日目。佐賀県伊万里の道の駅で起床

相変わらず寒い夜で数回起きたが、やはり道の駅は公園などに比べて安心して眠れる。しかもここは駐車場が離れていて、国道から見えない位置なので人は誰も通らず静かに眠れた。さらに今日は自転車日本一周中の旅人さんが夜にこの道の駅に来て同じ場所にテントを張っていたので1人野宿よりさらなる安心感でもう至れりつくせりというわけだ。

この日は長崎と佐賀の県境、佐世保の端っこにある横石の第二の故郷を目指す

と言ってもここ伊万里から23キロで辿り着いてしまうので朝はゆっくりしながら9時前に歩き始める。ここ数日の寒さの中での野宿が応えたのか旅が始まってから初めて若干風邪気味だ。故郷が近づいてきて緊張感の糸が切れてどっと疲れが出たのか。まぁどっちにしてもこのタイミングで良かった、佐世保の親戚の家では3泊する予定なので風邪も治るだろう。

伊万里→有田→そして長崎の三川内へと続く道のりは日本磁器発祥の地域で焼き物の名産地が続く。

道沿いには綺麗な焼き物のオブジェ?が立ち並んでいたり、風景的には田舎道で見るべきものはないのどかな風景だが、歩いていると時に足を止めてこういう焼き物の町ならではの風景を楽しむことができる

そこから有田へと向かい

遂に徒歩日本縦断21都道府県目となる長崎県へ

このカントリーサインを見るのはもう何回目だろうか。小さい頃から今までずっと遊びに来てたので(今年も3回目)「長崎に来たぞー!」ではなくて「長崎ただいまー!」という言葉がまさにぴったりな里帰りだ。

辿り着いて親戚の家に行く前にまずは祖母たちが眠るお墓参りへ

幼い頃から両親共働きだった横石にとっていつも帰ると家に居てくれた祖母は、「おばあちゃん」以上の存在だった。甘やかすだけでなく「人としてどうあるべきか」とヤンチャでいうことを聞かない反抗期だった横石をいつも叱って側で見ていてくれた大切な人なのだ。

高校二年生の時に急に体調が悪くなって入院して、驚くほどすぐに亡くなってしまったが、そんなおばあちゃんに最後に良いところを見せたくて必死で勉強をして高校の底辺の成績(300位)から1位にまで順位を上げた。そのくらいに大切な存在だったと今は思う。それがあったからこそ、今こうやって自分の行きたい大学に行けたし、何事においても「やり抜く力」を身に付けることが出来た。多分おばあちゃんが居なければ今横石はこうやって色んな人に支えられながら旅をすることもないだろう。

「ずいぶん時間がかかっちゃったけどちゃんとまた会えたね。ただいまばあちゃん」

日本最北端から遥々3500キロの道のりを歩いてここまでお墓まいりに来れたことが誇らしかった。今ならあの時散々ばあちゃんに説かれた「人としてどうあるべきか」も分かる気がする

別に賢くなくてもかっこよくなくてもいいから、他人の気持ちがわかる人間になれ、と。自分がやると言ったことは最後までやり抜きなさい、と。そうすれば沢山の笑顔に囲まれる、信頼される人間になれると。泣きながら叱られる横石はいつも言われてきたから。

まぁひとつばあちゃんに文句を言うとしたら、一回くらい枕元に出てきてくれても良いんじゃないかな?今でもその顔も仕草も吸ってたタバコの匂いも思い出せるけど、あなたの声を忘れちゃったよ。声が聞きたいよ。

長いお墓まいりを終えて、親戚の家へ

変わらぬ笑顔と精がつくたっぷりの温かいご飯とお酒で「おかえり」と歓迎してくれた。やっぱりここは横石の帰るべき場所だ。

そしてその日から3日間はのんびり養生しながら故郷ライフを満喫

昔駆けずり回った今も変わらぬのどかな風景をのんびり眺めたり

ちびっこ探検隊、隊長に任命されたり

親戚一同集まって、豪華なお寿司を食べながらお酒を飲んで、深夜まで語り合ったり…

古き良き伝統行事を見たり

それはもう変わらぬ故郷に癒された。

いつまでも変わらないでいてほしい、本当に大好きな場所だ。

けれども、人の風景は変わっていく

横石が小さかった頃、山や川に遊びに連れて行ってくれて自然と遊ぶことの楽しさ、大切さを教えてくれたおじちゃんおばちゃんはやはり歳をとる。だけど次はその大切さを教わった横石が大人になって、そのおじちゃんおばちゃんの孫や子供達を遊びに連れていく、そしてまた月日が経って、こんな横石にも子供が出来たら、次は今横石が遊んであげた子供達がきっと遊び相手になってくれるんだろうなって。そうやって変わらない風景の中で変わりゆく人々の風景も繋がっていくんだろうな。それこそが人生の意味であって、人としてあるべき姿なのかなと今は思う。

そんな繋がりを感じられる場所だからこそ、ふるさとはその人にとって大切な存在だし、守り伝えていくべき日本のあるべき原風景なのだと実感する。そして人それぞれにある故郷の風景を少しでも感じられるからこそ、ゆっくり進む歩き旅や自転車旅が大好きなのだと。

あの時は飲めなかったお酒を今はおじちゃんおばちゃん達と飲めるように、いつかこの子供達とお酒をたくさん飲みたいなぁ。その時は横石が沢山お寿司を食べさせてあげて、沢山お酒を飲ませてあげるんだぁ。

そうして今日。104日目となり名残惜しくも第二の故郷を旅立った。

雨予報が晴れて、新たな旅立ちを祝福

見送ってくれた大好きな人たちに大きく大きく手を振って、歩き始める

「身体には気をつけんばよ」

聞き慣れた方言が、やけに切なく胸に響いた

秋深まる紅葉の中、見知った道を進む

波佐見→川棚→彼杵と順調に進んでいって

大村湾沿いへ

そして昼過ぎに彼杵の道の駅で待っていてくださったフォロワーさんと一緒に

ご飯をご馳走になりながら色んなお話をした

この方は旅人や面白いことをやってる人が大好きみたいで、目を輝かせながらお話を聞いてくださったのがとても印象的な素敵な方だった

素敵なお時間ありがとうございました!

また長崎きたら今度は山登りましょう!

そしてその道の駅から5キロほど進むと素敵な駅舎の千綿駅という駅が。

小さな改札を抜けると

目の前に大きな海が広がった

ちょうど青い電車が通って、曇りがちな灰色の空と海も一気に青くなる。

電車が通り過ぎれば、しばしの静寂

海を眺めながらホームに腰を下ろすと、電車を撮りに来てた男性に話しかけられ、話が弾む

そしてこの男性は最後にカンパだと言って流石にお断りしてしまうレベルのお金を握らせてくれる(実際4.5回断ったが、それでも譲ってもらえなかった)

なんで見ず知らずの旅人にこんなにも優しくしてくださる方が沢山いるのだろうか。

そしてその方はこう言った

「良いんだよ。僕はこういうことをする子が本当に好きだし、君は目を輝かせて旅の話をするから、君の焼けた精悍な顔つきを見てたら誰だって応援したくなるよ。これから君が社会人になって、同じような目をして、立派に日焼けをした若い旅人がいたら、その時に僕があげた気持ちを繋げてあげて欲しい」と。

何度も肩を叩かれ、応援されたその手が、なによりも暖かかった。

そして沈む夕日を眺めながら今日の目的地大村市に辿り着く。歩いた距離以上に、濃い、深い、そんな4日間となった

歩行距離

23キロ(佐賀県伊万里市→長崎県佐世保市)

36キロ(長崎県佐世保市→長崎県大村市)

総歩行距離 3568キロ

今日も最後まで読んでいただきありがとうございます!ブログランキングにも参加しているので是非下の日本一周ボタンを押して応援してください!

にほんブログ村 旅行ブログ 日本一周へ


にほんブログ村

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