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.