As most of you know I am home due to an issue with my back. I am happy to say I received injections yesterday, and already I feel relief. My plan and hope is to be back on the trail in a week. This slight detour off the path, back to my hometown has been insightful for me in so many ways. Walking in my front door , especially these past ten years after being away from some time has always been a breath of fresh air. A peaceful welcoming into the space I have created for my daughters and I. This time though, was a little different. I haven’t quite identified the feeling as of yet. But I realized that home for me now, is not within these walls. The cliche, “home is where the heart is”, has a deep meaning for me. Home for me is where I feel the freedom to be me. Where I can feel a connection of something deeper than the love I felt for the place I rested my head at night for so many years.
Perhaps my journey into the mountains is a way of connecting into myself, without the confines set upon me here, in town. Granted, I set up my own prison walls. As my dearest friend Joey said,” like a caged bird, you finally took flight.” It is being out there, where the sounds I hear don’t infringe upon my peace, but only contribute to it, it is here I can connect with the feelings inside. Even the slight buzzing I hear in my home of some electrical nature interferes with my freedom. On the trail, the whispering of the wind upon my face, brings me joy. The rushing of the river, brings me awareness of the inevitability of change. The towering mountain peaks fill me with energy. Sun glistening off the snow is more splendid than any diamond upon a finger. Here at my home, in town, there is too much clutter to truly see, too much noise, to truly hear, and too much to truly feel.
I find the mountains to be a place of connecting with my spirituality. I was never totally sure what that meant. I went to church as a child, praying to God. When my late husband went through his 12 step program, I prayed to a Higher Power. These past years I have been studying Buddhism, praying. I was reading,” Running to the Mountain,” by Jon Katz. He said,”perhaps if spirituality could be more linked to the enjoyment of life, the fulfillment of a dream, adventure of change and growth, it might feel less remote.” This resonates with me. Spirituality is about connection to something big. Something huge. Something connecting self to that expansiveness. I am finding that. I am feeling that. I round a corner on the path, at times my heart fills with tears at the beauty. Other times a smile stays with me for miles. Other times I sit and weep, but as Katz says ,” loss and eventual renewal were not interruptions of life, they are life.” I weep not necessarily because I am sad, but perhaps more, because I am grateful. Grateful for all that has been, and all that will be.
Renewal is evident everywhere on the trail. The brilliant shades of green emerging from a wildfire that caused much destruction. The spring blossoms bursting through the areas once covered in snow. The young coyotes just born on the Oregon Trail. Hope. Life emerging everywhere around me. Those springs dry from the recent drought filling up with water as the snow begins to melt. Renewal within of hope for peace, with hope for the children, with hope for awareness of each other, and with hope for love again.
“i am always glad to touch the living rock again and dip my head in the high mountain sky. …plain, sky, mountains ray beauty which you feel. You bathe in these spirit-beams turning round and round, as if warming at a campfire. Presently you lose consciousness of your own separate existence: you blend with the landscape, and become part and parcel of nature.” John Muir.
Soon, I will walk on…..With Love