” Until one is committed, there is hesitancy. The chance to draw back concerning all acts of initiative(and creation) there is one elementary truth, that ignorance of which kills endless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits, oneself, then Providence moves also. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favor all manor of unforeseen incidental meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin now.” von Goethe I found myself sitting at the ocean most mornings since I have been here in Santa Cruz. Yesterday, the walls I had built around my heart in these 2 short weeks, came tumbling down. I was reading a book entitled,”When Things Fall Apart,” by Pema Chodron. A lovely Buddhist book about life and some ways to deal with difficult times. I had been reading the book for a number of days, but yesterdays reading touched me deeply. She spoke about the need for compassion for self, before we can feel it for others. Tears fell. I have always said that my greatest wish was that I could inspire others through my path. How could I do that if I couldn’t care about myself? The anger I felt towards my body, dissipated. The space it created in my heart has allowed me to feel again. This morning, the pain in my body has dissipated. I am committed. I am taking flight. Because , as John Muir so profoundly stated,”for going out, I found I was really going in.”
During this morning of awareness I thought of family and friends going through difficult times. I connected with a few, either through conversation, words, or prayer. I told them I truly cared, and if I could take some of their pain I would so that they could be free.
I realized I had built fairly significant walls around myself. I didn’t even look at the ocean the first few days I was home. I didnt want to see people and have them question me about my hike. I felt so defeated. But as a dear friend said, “Grasshopper, don’t feel defeated, the mountain doesn’t feel victorious .”
These walls I erected shut people out. I created a deep sense of loneliness. However, until yesterday I couldn’t even see my part. These self imposed walls created such suffering. I shut out people who were new in my life. They wanted to get to know me. The problem was, I couldn’t understand why. I pushed them away. A few, who I got in, just a little bit, I eventually turned them away too. Please know, I am sorry. It wasn’t you. It was me.
I spoke with my mentor Tatu Jo the same day. I told him my plan to hike southbound. He adamantly proclaimed,” No! why aren’t you listening to me?”Well, I wasn’t listening because I couldn’t hear anything. But his suggestion was to start from where I left off. He said my hike would be so much more gratifying. He suggested I walk as far as I could and if weather holds I may be able to continue my thru hike. If not jump to Canada and walk south. I am so grateful to him for his support thru my craziness. He has so much wisdom in regards to the trail and life. I agreed , it was the very best plan.
The Sierra Mountains reside in my heart. While walking the JMT last year I experienced such a spiritual connection and I look forward to those moments of exquisite connection . I will embrace it fully.
I am getting a ride to the trailhead from a dear friend David. Another friend also offered. I have such deep gratitude. It isn’t a short drive. I am touched. A friend in the hiking community Christy “Rockin” Rosander asked if she could join as her hike in Oregon and Washington had to be postponed a bit due to weather. She is very experienced and I look forward to hiking with her for a few weeks, or however long she will stay with me until she hops north. I just hope I don’t hold her back too much. It will only take me a couple days to get my strength back and I should be as good as new!!
I walk on, With Love