May 16, 2016
Why does it matter to me so much that I feel balance and ease and beauty on the trail? I’m reading the blog of a woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Her feet hurt. It’s hot. She thinks she has to walk further every day. She lost her first toenail and believes that just goes with the territory. Snakes. Poison oak. Poodle Dog Bush.
Her writing is alluring because I keep wondering how much worse it can get. Cold. Dirt. Fog. And all of it is baneful, and somehow necessary for pushing through.
Where is the beauty? Why not learn to breathe and meet the mountains? Walk a distance that feels good? Must it be a battle, an ordeal, a lonely, hellish march?
That’s not what I want my long walks to be, and yes, I have had tired feet and focused on making miles. I don’t see much point in walking 12 hours a day except to revel in Nature, however. For me, the athletic part is purely in service of drinking in one more view, another forest, another mountain.
Maybe this is all easy to say while sitting at home, and yet I’ve been where she’s suffering. I walked her hot stretch in the cool of the night marveling at yellow flowers lit by a brilliant full moon. I paced my steps and breathed to let the long climbs unfold like meditations, singing or reciting poetry. I want walking to be a fulfilling, enlivening way to move between heaven and earth, blending myself with the Oneness of everything.
That’s HeartSinging Walk. I believe it and strive for it.