A journey is alive in every moment. Each step. Katahdin was not a place to reach for, it is a place to be, among many. What matters to me is what’s been here, alongside me. This hike has been a celebration of what I’ve got.
I love my body so much, it makes me cry. A little of that’s sadness, for how I used to treat it, but mostly, it’s gratitude. I get to walk. That’s my honor in this human experience.
I carry a heavy heart, only because it’s so freakin’ big, and there’s room for everyone in it. So my legs are strong. They have no choice.
I carry faith, that this is what’s real and what will always be; sunlight through the canopy and mud in our leg hair.
I carried an mp3 player this whole time, and only started listening to it in the 100 mile wilderness. My last three nights camping, in the dark, up against my dinner tree, I sang along and laughed at myself.
I carried a letter, from my Montana family. I asked them in January to write something magic on a piece of paper so I could keep it in my pocket. I finally read it, on Katahdin. “Sing your song” was in the center and statements about the love in my heart filled the rest of the page. This family is mostly composed of children, and it’s astounding how deeply seen I feel.
I carried a tacky, blue, screw-top container. Translucent, unceremonious, and precious. It holds ashes. This is my fifth time walking across a country, but the first without her voice. God! I miss her voice. It was especially loud. I feel distinctly quiet.
It feeds a sort of loop. It’s painful to think about these hardships, and then it wouldn’t hurt if we weren’t so alive. So I circle back to noticing and I say “thank you.”
Thank you heart.
Thank you feet.
Thank you Appalachian Trail.