“I know (I know, I know)
That I ain’t got far to go, go, go
Cause I spent forever waiting
And it’s no longer a dream
And now I’ve landed on my feet
And I ain’t got far to go”
Today we actually walked over the Bridge of the Gods and into Washington State, my home of three years!
Walking over the bridge felt impossible. How is it that I am here? How am I actually in Washington? We crossed the border — the halfway point on the bridge — and a huge smile broke out between all of us. It has been a grueling, boring, magical, adventuresome, awe inspiring journey. And we are now on our last state. Only 500 miles to Canada.
I wrote, upon passing the Oregon border, that I picked up a piece of my heart there and the rest was waiting in Washington. I have arrived and found a huge chunk waiting for me here. And now I am whole, and I have given it all right back to the trail.
This walk had been one of the loudest continual exclamations of devotion I have ever realized. I have thrown myself head over heels down this path, dedicated my life for five months to this trail. I have worshiped daily, step by step. I have ripped open my heart and bled love into the woods.
And now I am less than twenty days from the end, the end that I knew would be waiting for me from the beginning. The closer I get, the less I understand why I did it. Why would I set myself up for the heartbreak that waits for me in Canada? How could I commitment myself completely to the mad whims of this mad trail only to leave it after such a short period of time? Why can’t I stay?
“How do you feel about the end?” people keep asking. They keep congratulating me on being so close to the finish, to being one of the 25% that make it.
I feel terrible. I want to stop time and live in this moment. This is the realest thing I have ever done. This is home now. This is where my heart belongs. How can I go back? How can I be happy? Who will I be when I return? How will I live indoors? How will I stop myself from peeing when and where I want? What will stillness feel like?
I know that when doors close windows open, and that endings are beginnings in disguise. I know that good things and bad things always end and that nothing is forever. I know that all of this too shall pass. But none of that appeases my heart now, scared of the end, wishing I could keep walking and loving this way until my feet turn to dust and every inch of me is forgotten.
All I can do is turn on my saddest songs and let tears stream. All I can do is honor this moment, and let the trail know how much it means. All I can do is keep walking. The rest, whatever happens next, will be.