Why does it leave you with flashbacks, a yearning for more, and way of always leaving out the struggles?
Is it the enhanced senses? The feelings, smells, colors?
Is it because this is how you came to learn more about yourself? What you are capable of and what you are not, and being at peace with it anyway?
Because it was scary at first and then you fell in love?
The intimate solitude that you can't find back in your other life?
The secrets that you still have to unlock?
I know I'm not the first backpacker (or hiker or runner) to have this calling. Jennifer Phar Davis even wrote a book about hers.
Somehow, the trail has a way of calling you back like nothing else. Your first experience the most prominent.
Coincidently (honestly, I wasn't planning on writing this. I'm supposed to be attempting to self-publish and e-book.), it has been 6 months since the completion of mine and Pacer's Colorado Trail thru hike. I've had flashbacks, euphoric glimpses, of the experience nearly every day this month.
I miss it so much. I miss not having to think about work and money and my to-do list. I miss it just being me and Pacer, despite being lonely at times, and not trying to socialize with people I don't really know (something I attempted and failed at last night), which doesn't come naturally to my introverted nature.
I miss the fresh air, the colors, the smells. I miss the views.
I miss never looking in a mirror. Just feeling my own strength and beauty.
I miss the wrinkled lines of wisdom on Mother Nature's face, each turn in the trail offering me another offering of insight, each pass a bit of inspiration.
I also believe the trail still has secrets to tell me. The type of secrets that can only be heard when your part of it, immersed.
Today it reminded me that there is no one to judge me, or at least no other judge I have to listen to. The last judge I have to let go of is myself.
In nature's expanse, it let me view how other people believed I could get in to Naropa's Wilderness Therapy program, that it was a perfect fit for me, when I did not believe it myself. It let me know that it was again time to start believing in myself too.
Finally, I believe it calls because when I left, I left a piece of myself with it too. A small piece of my heart was left there, though I am not broken-hearted. For now, that piece of my heart has become part of something much bigger. It lives in the trees, the mountain streams, the wildflowers, the mountains, and the almost-close-enough to touch stars. It lives in the air, the vibration of the Earth.
Still, it beats. It calls. I listen. And sometimes, I get to go back.
|The other piece of my heart at Kenosha Pass.|
|Pacer during our "first" at Kenosha Pass.|