“No man can step into the same river twice, for the second time it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man.” –Heraclitus
Pyrite and I completed our 2011 Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike on September 24, at around 9:10 pm. We shared this moment, at the Northern Terminus, with 6 other hikers, and the sky seemed to open up that last day as we decided to make a final push to the end and hiked well into the evening. The air was electric throughout the day with dancing nerves, and jittery conversations.
All thru-hikers undergo a metamorphosis throughout the duration of their journey, and our experience was of no exception as individuals, nor as a couple. The transformations that we’ve undergone will illuminate as we make this transition into the next stage, and while that’s scary right now as I sit at this computer, in an enclosed, sheltered room in Seattle, I’m excited to see what the unknown has in store for us.
I feel lucky to have such a loving, patient partner, and I am grateful that we both were able to follow through with the actualization of our shared dream. Thank you to all who were there along the way, we couldn’t have done this without the love and support from all those angels on and off the trail.
So, in closing, I’ll share the promises that Pyrite and I made to each other on October 2, 2010,
Jacob, I don’t know what the next 100 years will hold. But since we will be together, I have no fear. These are the things I promise to you as we walk this journey, together. I promise to walk with you, to new sunrises and new sunsets, new rivers that let out to the ocean, new forests that open up into clearings. The unknown is beautiful, and I look forward to sharing it with you. I promise to listen to you and learn from you. In a world – our world – that changes so quickly that every single day is unknown, there is much to discover and explore. Let there be no false idols – nor one-lane bridges – in our marriage; I believe in us, and have faith that there’s two-way traffic ahead. When encountering the unknowns, I promise to face them and find the joy in them and to hold your hand, squeeze it, and to let you know that I sense the strangeness, too. I will be your warm thing. In the cold, the rain, the snow packs and snow melts, on the highest peaks, and in the coldest streams, on those nights when we won’t have anything but the heat of our own bodies, I will share with you. My heat is your heat and all that I have is yours.Today I marry my best friend, you, my love and I’m happy to proclaim, that I, Kathleen Mitchell, take you, Jacob Gallagher, to be my husband and my chosen life partner, now and forever.
So onward we walk, into the unknown
Peace and love to all who have followed along the way,
Chinchilla and Pyrite