The Colorado Trail: Departing Today
Updated: Sep 25, 2018
I use the Christmas metaphor too often, but it fits the occasion perfectly. I've been counting down the months, then weeks, then days, and now it's today. On Christmas morning there wasn't any further anticipation. It was just there. It was happening. I don't ever remember feeling like I needed to race out of bed into the living room and start ripping open presents. It was just there. The experience had begun. And that's where I am today.
Two minutes ago I received that text message that I've been waiting for since I figured out my ride to Colorado. It was from Jen saying that she'd be leaving home in about five minutes. Now all that's left for me here is to post this last piece before the trail, let my tea finish steeping, walk down the road to Whole Foods where I'm meeting her in about a half hour, and start the drive north.
It's hard not to feel like this is a big deal. This is a big deal. I need experiences like this hike in my life. I need to feel purpose and meaning, and the trail has always provided both. The trail gives simplicity in ways that the rest of the world cannot. Every day there is a goal. There is a path. We use this metaphor of "the path of life" in day to day living, but out there in the mountains, it's a literal path to follow. There are unknown variables between point A and point B, but the journey is laid out. You wake, you walk, you rest, and you do it again. Along the way you let it happen and try to soak it in like a sponge.
I've learned so much from my previous hikes, and I have no doubt that I'll learn from this one as well. At the same time however, it's hard to see past this one. It's hard to be preoccupied by thoughts of the CDT or whatever hike comes next because this one is here in my lap. How often did you find yourself thinking about NEXT Christmas on that morning of December 25th?
I have to believe that part of the meaning of this thing that we call life is to find moments of absolute presence, to be focused on here and now, and to not worry about what comes next. I found that feeling on Christmas morning, and I have that feeling today.
See you on the trail.