Wants and needs

56 days left. My thoughts all wander to that point-that point when I will take those first few steps in Campo, and I find it difficult to live and enjoy in this moment. I spent this morning continuing the process of deciding what to keep, and what to throw away for this uprooting; we are moving out of our little apartment in a few weeks, and are downsizing once again. I remember the relief when Jacob and I moved in here a year and a half ago. The relief that we only had about 500 square feet of space. The relief that we couldn’t “accumulate” more than we wanted. And now as I start to sift through the nooks and crevices where a pair of furtive socks or papers or books have found a refuge, I realize how hard it is to resist the primordial wont to accumulate.  I say, why do I have this pair of shoes that I’ve never worn? Why do I keep The Cell, my intro to bio textbook that I used as my foundational reference through college, when I have the internet? These socks have three holes in them, why do I still wear them? The big things that will be helpful when we come back, our bikes, our packs, some clothes (although, actually I still need to work on that), are easy. It’s the little things that are the hardest. And then I wonder, why do I keep my head over my shoulder, and carry around this corpse of past memories? I guess it’s the fear of trusting my self. The fear of losing something. Even though I know I only have more to gain by shedding all that excess baggage. Fear of loss. Or, is it a fear of changing into something new?

This very human characteristic to balance needs vs wants-outside the pressures of culture, or conformity-that which is so equally arduous in thought and practice, may serve to be the singular reason I am so drawn to a thru-hike. What better way to sort out your own balance, then to force yourself to carry everything you want/need on your back?


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