June 4, 2016
7 a.m. Fog. Ah! Sun breaks through and lights the tree trunks. A restful night opens to a birdsong morning.
12 p.m. Walking feels good! The trail through Shenandoah Park is gentle, though consistently up amd down. We cross the Skyline Drive every 2 or so miles! I want to call a woman I know who wants to walk just six miles a day to say, “You could do that here, no problem. If you have a car support person to meet you at road crossings, you could do this!”
3 p.m. Well, it’s been great all day, and I see in the guidebook that water and camping limitations mean that we can stop in a couple of miles or in as many as four miles. That gives us a short, easy day or a dubious and maybe long one. THAT’S where the day’s challenge begins!
After fairly calmly discussing it while we walk another mile, John says, “OK. How about if YOU pick the campsite for tonight? Wherever you want.”
That’s when Gollum, the two-faced creature from Lord of the Rings shows up – in my mind!
“He’s so nice, Precious! He’s taking care of you, just like he said. He respects you and means what he says, that you don’t have to get tired out. This can be easy!”
The camera turns to the other Gollum, “Don’t listen to him!!! He’s tricksy, Precious! You know you have to keep going, You have to prove that you never get tired! You’ll be sorry if you stop here!!!
Bing! Crystal clarity rings! This situation has nothing to do with John. It has nothing to do with John’s stamina or comparing it to mine. It has everything to do with my own perception of myself and that inner argument, that’s just like Gollum’s two-sided one.
This time, I realize that I don’t have to blame John or hold him responsible for creating a situation that works for me – or doesn’t work for as if often the game I play. He’s absolutely giving me the responsibility for choosing.
So, THIS time, I’m choosing to stop at 4 p.m. in a sure campsite. I’ll sit in the woods and write. Cook dinner. Listen to the afternoon thunder rumble.
I have a great spot for balancing my Nonsenses. Ah! the vibrant color!
5:45 p.m. Thunderstorm! That rumbling blew into a downpour. Good thing that we were already set up with dinner cooked. Happy and dry, we can relax in the grand tarp and enjoy the rain.
A nice long sleep awaits!