In early spring of 1886, when he was nearing sixty, Tolstoy decided to walk from his Moscow home to his ancestral estate, Yasnaya Polyana, outside of Tula, a distance of more than two hundred kilometers. “I am walking, mainly, to recuperate from the luxuries of life and perhaps to take part a bit the real life,” he wrote a friend. He left, without a clear plan, a pack on his back and a couple friends at his side. He spent the nights on the floor of peasant huts, often sleeping with a dozen other travelers. He ate bread and cabbage soup. He gathered material for future stories. “It was, as I’d assumed it would be, one of the best memories of my life,” he wrote his wife upon arriving at Yasnaya Polyana, complaining of “a little tiredness.”
Such profound wisdom and simplicity.