Something is poking me as I climb. A few days ago I assumed it was my shirt riding up, and I kept pulling it down, flattening my clothes against my sticking-out spine. Yesterday I realized it is not my clothes, it is my pack, something jutting out of the lower back area.
And today I realized (as I was too tired and distracted during each break yesterday and today, until camp) that I have snapped my pack’s support. Over these 1,500 miles I have literally broken my pack.
I am camping at the top of a ridge, a storm seems to be approaching, a mouse is running over my tyvek, scaring me badly. I just jumped up and yelled aloud, terrorizing both of us.
“I am wrapping you up in my love and thoughts,” it reads.
A warm happy glow comes over my body. The wind buzzing over the ridge stops, the mouse yields its terror inducing power, my tuckered out body relaxes into the feeling. I am safe, I am loved, I am happy.
Today was a beautiful day, the trail erupting over ridges to show vast expanses of hill after glorious hill. I like it here, in Northern California, even after all my moaning and anticipation of Oregon.
When I talk to my mom she reminds me that she surrounds me in light each morning. She wakes early, and is on the East Coast, so the sweetness engulfs me while I am sleeping.
Tonight, memories of all the support and inspiration you all give me sends rush after rush of gratitude over me. It is during the dark times that I find out how much love is in my life.
And even this trail, in its strange way, shows me I am loved. It only ever presents me with challenges I can overcome. It always offers up wondrous sights and sounds. And it never, never leaves me alone.