A literary ode to peace, presence, and fulfillment inspired by a walk taken with a most surprising creature. “The demon of speed is often associated with forgetting, with avoidance…and slowness with memory and confronting,” observes Milan Kundera in his novel Slowness. With that purpose in mind—a search for slowness and tranquillity—Andy Merrifield set out on a journey of the soul with a friend’s donkey, to walk amid the ruins and spectacular vistas of southern France’s Haute-Auvergne. The purposeful pace of the journey and the understated nobility of Gribouille, his humble donkey companion, allowed him to confront himself as well as to consider the larger mysteries of life—insight he now shares in his enchanting book, The Wisdom of Donkeys. As Merrifield contemplates literature, science, truth and beauty, and the universality of nature amid the French countryside, Gribouille surprises him with his subtle wisdom, reminding him time and again that enlightenment is all around us if we but seek it. Traveling with Andy Merrifield and Gribouille, we’re reminded of the contemplative and exquisite benefits of nature, passive adventuring, and wild spaces.