Okay. Imagine this. You are 1,000 feet above the ground (queasy stomach yet?). Over a deep ravine. On a bridge. Made out of woven grasses. Can you imagine? I got a snapshot image of this from an article. The bridges it referenced were first made in the times of the Inka empire. I've been studying ethnobotany in a class-by-class, long distance rhythm over the last 7 years. With a keen interest in how people have traditionally used plants, this story struck me!
Four ink pens had already run dry. It was Day 8 of a 27-day writing challenge. In her morning prompt, my writing teacher shares that wild writing is 95% tenacity. "The question here isn't about being or becoming a 'good writer,' it is about showing up again and again. It's about allowing yourself to be a really bad writer...and to see what happens when you let go and see what else comes." Feeling a bit intimidated by the 15 long minutes of silent writing that is soon to follow her opening, I feel a spark of hope. I know I have tenacity.
In the passage of time over the last few weeks, I cross the threshold into my 33rd year. I wrote this piece on my birthday. It pulls together some ideas I've been rolling around about the time I claimed this past year to "retire," to have space to hear my inner soul-speak, to not have my inner life need to be as fast-paced as our other world. Ideas that rolled through my days on the PCT. It speaks to my love affair with the hoops of time and the necessary mending of our intergenerational fabric.
It is total truth. This indeed has been the best and most creative year of my adult life. As a way to capture the lessons of this time, I created this offering. May it be a gift to share, offer a pause for reflection, spark inspiration, or be a reminder that you have an adventurous friend who retired early to explore the callings of her heart and soul.
I still cringe thinking of that night I did not hang my bag of food. That little mouse kept me up but I did not have it in me after a long and weary wet day to get out and hang it…until it got 1/2 way through one of my dried dinners.
I can so easily return to the moment I took my first step on the trail after Janye left me with my pack, 9 days of food, and a bag of fresh picked blueberries. This was it.
Did it! I navigated new editing technology to get the video from my storytelling evening into 4 "episodes." I'll be sending an episode out each of the next 4 days along with a short list of wisdom tips I learned from the Pacific Crest Trail. Enjoy them! Thank you again to all who came in person. It … Continue reading [Video] It is here! Part 1: The Beginning
Thank you for supporting me to walk through this most incredible year. It has been the best year of my life! Receiving your friendships and well-lived stories are my greatest riches.
Check out my first exploratory attempt at an audio blog! TIP: You will have to click on the Blog title in order to access the audio in the full online format.
My apologies! I’m sorry that I have not officially introduced you. My people, meet Opal. Opal, my people. Yep, Opal is the name of my ever-so-trusty fern-green PCT backpack. It is nearly two months since I stepped off the trail, yet, on many of my nearly 6AM walks under the streetlight glow-orbs to yoga class I find myself saying, “Good morning Opal.” A morning ritual of mine when on the trail. Even now, my blue-teal bandana from my trail days almost always comes with me when I leave the house. This square piece of cloth (a $2 find in the Village Merchant’s scarf bin) was the only piece of gear I almost lost. Not even 5 minutes after leaving it behind, I knew something was missing. I used it for everything. No joke. Blowing my nose, washing my face at night, bathing my body, as a neck warmer, sun protection, wind guard, pee rag. Everything.