After 3 to 5 hours of hiking, baskets full of silence fill to space between us. Silence filles the sweeping landscape, as well. I love this time in the hike. We walk, breathe, appreciate, are together – in silence. The silences that come before are of different quality. Sometimes they are angry at the hills going up and down. Sometimes they are filled with daydreams. Admittedly, sometimes they are filled with panting. However, this time of silence comes with contentment and togetherness. No just together with each other, but together with everything, the wind, the hills, the grass… All of it.
I am fortunate to have a child that I weaned on grassy silences and miles under her feet. She will hike 6 hours for the price of a couple of shared scones and a package of blueberries. Even better, whenever I ask if she wants to go to the road, she asks if that is how the trail goes, and if it doesn’t go to the road, neither does she want to. I am lucky that way, as sometimes I would definitely go to the road myself, missing some of the beautiful sites! She amazes me, tolerating hours of rain, hours away from Percy Jackson books. I don’t know why, sometimes. However, I am always grateful.
As we hopped down the rocks of Hadrian’s Wall Trail, I realized that I have an opportunity. Like my daughter, I have the opportunity to create who I am in my next tomorrow. I was thinking about my foot, the plantar fasciitis I acquired the last year. Stress related. Standing long hours on a hard floor. The running, I believe, was just ancillary. Today, it is bothering me a bit, but yoga, physical therapy, and destressing have changed it substantially. Today, I am hopping down rocks, flying towards my next future, just as she is flying towards her first future. I can choose something thoughtfully, something that allows me health, that is lower in stress. What a wonderful gift!
Before we set out on this trip, I told my fiance that I was happier, that I could finally feel the lessening of stress. That is wonderful. As it this. This is different. It’s like the idea is really viscerally dawning on me. I have a new start!
We both have the opportunity to choose a future. I am hopeful for both of us.
Today’s Favorite Food: Sticky Toffee Pudding