My parents gave me Christopher Chant to read after I gobbled up the Harry Potter series. It may be even better (forgive the heresy), as I have re-read it continually over the years, lugging it with me on each move, sharing it with Little Ant (Avry) when I knew we would be lasting (it is that special, and I have a hard time loving someone who doesn’t cherish my important books).
But all of that is a long aside: Christopher Chant is a powerful magical boy with the ability to move into different worlds. To do so, he walks to the corner of a room, finds the fabric holding the worlds apart, and pushes his shoulder into it. He strains and struggles until the barrier is thin enough to tear it, and then he easily slides through.
I feel just like him, living outside in this strange new world. This is a new life, and I am wriggling and fighting to get my shoulder in the right spot, to be able to push through completely. Every now and then my fingers get through, and it makes me want to push harder. Every time we stop in town for real food and chairs, I wonder if I should move through the barrier.
The thing about newness and adventure and travel is that it changes you forever, sometimes slowly, sometimes like a bursting of some small world you’ve been living in, not even seeing it. On Bike & Build I discovered I was a small person, and realized I wanted to be big enough to spread my arms all the way around the world. On Rainier I found I was a strong person, and that I desired immensely for women and girls everywhere to feel the innumerable, inconceivable power of their being. In Spain I discovered I could travel alone, free from the fear that everyone is so quick to unburden on young solo women (do men/non-conforming people get it too?).
I don’t know how this trip will change me, but I know it will. For now I am pushing and struggling at the fabric of what I know — trying to get comfortable with my trail name and new identify: Pine Nut. As in “well dang, you’re tougher than a pine nut!”