This post has no pretty pictures of beautiful scenery. It has no pictures of yummy food I’ve eaten. But it comes straight from my heart.
When I was in Sedona, I went on a fabulous hike with my new friends Chris and Steve. I wrote about it in my Sedona Blog. It was a great hike – I wonder if perhaps the boys were testing me – and I was determined to show them how tough and fit I was. Plus I was just reveling in the joy of the hike itself. I noticed something as we hiked back down the trail. I followed Chris, who was in the lead. As we descended down the trail, I noticed that his step was effortless, and he moved down the trail with an ease of footing that I envied. However, as I hiked down the rocky trail, I stared at each footstep, and I could feel my brain just working – which step is best? The rocks are loose there, I should avoid that step. Oops, watch out for that tree root, watch out for the uneven ground. And I realized that the more I thought about my footing, the more tedious and awkward it became. I looked at Chris’ step, so effortless, and thought to myself, I’m not going to think about it – I’m just going to let my footsteps fall where they want naturally – and lo and behold, my feet just seemed to find the right footing.
We’d started our hike late in the afternoon, and as we neared the end of it, darkness quickly overcame us. Chris knew that this might be the case – he had some headlamps just in case it got too dark to see the trail. But he called back “I think we’ll make it without them,” and we continued to the end of the hike. The darkness was a bit disconcerting – how in the world was I going to see what was on the trail? How was I going to keep my footing not being able to see in the rapidly enveloping darkness? But again, I just had an instinct to trust my senses – and to trust that my footing would find itself – and to trust that my body would naturally discern what was on the trail in front of me. And as far fetched as that sounds, it worked. I never lost my footing in the dark, although the trail was far from smooth and flat.
The night before I went to Yosemite, I read Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild. It’s an absolutely enthralling account of her hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. (Thank you Claudia!). In the book, she describes an incident in which she was kicked out of a campground in the middle of the night, and had to pack up her stuff and hike in total darkness. She talked about how her other senses took over and she felt the trail and her body more acutely by just letting go and not thinking about it or trying so hard.
I made a post on FB several days ago about heading back East and eventually making my way back home. I’ve had more than a few of you ask me, on FB or text or email, “Where IS home??”
When I started this journey, I left myself open to the Universe to the idea of finding someplace that called to me. I’ve been to a few places that I think would be fantastic to live. I fell in love with Sedona, and Flagstaff, and Montana. I still love Louisville and the life I’ve lived there for the past 17 years. I’ve told myself throughout this trip to stay in the moment and enjoy every single thing in the present, and not to dwell or ponder the “what if’s” of the future. But as I approach the final month of my adventure, on some of these interminably long drives through some stark, barren states, I’ve found myself focusing on the end of my trip, and the questions surrounding that. Where will I live? Louisville? Flagstaff? Montana? What will I do? What kind of job can I get?
The harder I’ve thought about it, the more confused I get. And suddenly, amidst that confusion, I remembered my hike down the trail in Sedona. And I realized that the more I let my brain to try to figure out the “correct” next step, the harder it becomes. But if I just – to use the analogy of the hike – allow my senses and my body (heart) to guide me naturally, the universe will be open to me and the decision will become clear.
So, my dear friends, although many life changing realizations have come to me over the course of the past nine weeks, I’m still not certain where I will make my next home. In about three weeks or so, I will end my adventure in Louisville, where I will be thrilled and overjoyed to see many of you. And then, I will free my mind of fear and worry, open my heart and follow my intuition to the path that appears in front of me.