Letting go

With the logistical crunch time setting in, it’s hard not to get caught up in the smaller details. And yesterday, I guess I was in what you would call a funk. We’ve been rehashing our itinerary,analyzing it, tweeking it, manipulating it, crunching it-all in an attempt to make it as *realistic* as possible. I feel like this is part of the need to feel some element of control as we move towards that precipice, below which lies the valley of the unknown.

My main focus,which fed into the funk, was that we probably, no, actually, won’t make it to Drakesbad, by foot, by July 1st. It may have been overly optimistic even in a normal year, but with the snow this year, it is just plain silly.  So yesterday, when we were boxing up all the resupply packages, I fell a little bit deeper into this funk.

Drakesbad was where I was first introduced to the PCT as a young, impressionable kid; where I first met thru-hikers and  started imagining one day walking in my own shoes, dirty and hairy and happy; and where the seed was planted, with roots which wouldn’t get a chance to move deeper into soil until later on.

Fast forward about 15 years, set in a small indian resturaunt in Moshi, Tanzania- Jacob and I were going through that awkward, exciting, electric, and uncomfortable first date where you are trying to get a gauge for this person you feel something for, but don’t quite know yet what to make of it. I don’t remember the exact conversation, but I think we were sharing things we wanted to do in our lives, and I brought up my dream of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Later I learned this was a singular moment for Jacob, this was a hook for him. Even in the early stages of our relationship, we started talking, and thinking about a thru-hike, together. Even before we had even begun to touch that delicate, and scary topic of “future”, a future together was taking shape.

I was looking forward to coming full circle, and part of that completion was to walk into Drakesbad where that seed had been planted years ago, where roots run deep. I guess I wanted to do that with the people who had been there in the beginning, family,  family who will be there in late June until July 3rd-family from MN who I get to see only a couple times a year, and I guess I had been clinging to that more than I realized until yesterday.

But the grip with which I clung to this image is too much work, too much energy-and a larger picture reminds me to give in to the journey.

But the simple act of naming this internal tension, by facing it- it’s helping me to let go. The path will take shape as we start to walk, and the picture will be painted as we go. I think of John Steinbeck’s words as I practice this art of letting go, ” A journey is like a marriage, the certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

Here’s to letting go.

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5 thoughts on “Letting go

  1. Sorry to hear the snow is thwarting your plans for Drakesbad =( But perhaps the fates have something else in mind for you guys that’ll be just as, if not more, epic than your original plan 😉 *hugs* Good luck with the last few days of your preparations!!

    • Thanks, friend:) A practice in humility, and reminder that outside forces and internal drives don’t always match up-but you’re right, looking forward to what’s in store! Hope that your surprise party went well, I felt like I said goodbye to you, personally last week, but I hope you know you are surrounded by people who care about you! Good luck to you, too, in your last few weeks:) Hugs right back at you!

  2. ~1350 miles in less than 75 days over some of the most treacherous terrain in the subarctic part of North America is hard. That statement seems trivial but it isn’t intended to be. God knows that I’m poorly qualified to lecture you about the virtues of accepting that the things you failed to accomplish were at least *hard*, or even about how you shouldn’t give up on trying to accomplish hard goals just because you’re probably not going to succeed. But, you know, feel better.

    And: I’m seeing Jeff Mangum in four and a half months in a theatre a couple of blocks down the street from where I live. The tickets were more than I’d normally pay, and this compromises one of the things about NMH I always respected (namely, the ability to quit while you’re ahead, and just disappear and do other stuff). But, come on, you kind of *have* to see Jeff Mangum when he’s playing in a theatre 7 minutes on foot from your house.

    • Awww Neil, thanks for the pick-me-up! Beyond jealous that you’ll get to hear that voice in person, and so close to your house. I will be listening to it in my head, along with other things for the next 5 months. And thanks for the advice:) Mostly, the goals have shifted, and are centered around finishing, in this season. Beyond that, I’m *trying* just to keep myself open to what comes up as it comes up.
      You’re still planning on meeting us, right? I hope so, even though I know you’re sort of in the throes right now……what you’re doing is pretty damn hard, and I’d understand if you couldn’t get out here…
      Anyway, enjoy JM, and, life on the east coast, and hope to see you soon:)

  3. As I mentioned to your husband, this summer is TBD on my part. I would like to (and, if my schedule and finances allow it, will) try to find you guys at or north of Crater Lake. Right now airfare is prohibitively expensive. I expect that that will come down, but who knows. To say nothing of the, um, difficulty forecasting what my life will be like in July. So I’ll send you a text message in maybe six weeks.

    Good luck!

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