Adam and I visited Oshkosh and saw a lot of good friends this past weekend. On the way back home to Phillips, I drove. As the sun started to slowly drop behind the trees and hills it lit up the world in golden hues coming in from the west. To the north, where we were heading, the sky was still a pale blue. It was the calm, quiet kind of blue that doesn’t even really seem like a color yet. I let my glance turn upward through the windshield of the car, following the clear blue until it turned into a deeper, solid color. Whispy strips of clouds streaked across the sky horizontally in their silent, still wonder, all the while glowing in bright coral and pink. A smile crept onto my face, I shifted in the car seat with my gaze forward, and a calm feeling spread throughout my body like a much-needed sigh. I was settling back into place – and not just in my car seat, but my world.
I don’t really know what brought this on, because it seems like it just hit at a really random time. I started thinking about the last couple of months as I watched the world go by at 65 mph, and I was really close to seeing really clearly… seeing just how much of a cloud I was in. It felt like I was suddenly getting feeling back after being numb all over. I don’t think I had any idea how to feel what I wanted to feel after the hike was over, so I just allowed myself to exist as simply as I could for a while. I was wanting to hold on to my PCT mindset as long as I could, and it was frustrating to realize how difficult that was to do. This is why I always want to go back… right now. I want that feeling of being a part of that trail again – not just physically walking the trail, but being one with the experience mentally. Over the last month and a half I’ve been unknowingly letting it fade. That makes me feel really sad. However, with the thought of my future plans coming into mind as I thought of all this, there was a sort of convergence and it felt… good. I was surprised. I will strive to always carry that trail mentality, though… at least a little bit. I learned a lot on that hike, and it’s become a part of me that I don’t ever want to let go – things like patience, observation, relaxation, prayer, a quiet mind and mental comfort. I will hopefully carry that into every new day. And I hope to one day get back out there and do it again. In fact, I live for that dream. I always will. But as I’ve said before, one adventure at a time!
The good news here is that I seem to have had an emotional upgrade since the last time I wrote. I feel good. I don’t feel like I’m completely together yet, as I know there are still a few things I need to work through, but this was a huge step in a good direction. I’m thinking more and more about truck driving school, and I’m getting excited to invite an intense, structured schedule into my life for a little while. In early April of 2014 Adam and I should be pretty much free to roll. I am looking forward… and not just to January 20 when I start classes, or April of 2014 when we can start making some big miles in a semi truck, but even further. It’s good. Just really, really good.
While I was going through that “numb” stage, trying to figure out where I was emotionally, it wasn’t hard all the time – I was still having some fun. It really was a bit of a roller coaster, so when I was feeling good, I tried to hang on to it, and when I was feeling blue, I tried to walk it off. I never really knew if I was doing the best thing I could for how I was feeling, but I figured the best thing I could do was to just keep… doing. I’ve taken long road walks from 8 to 12 miles, trail hikes from 6 to 12 miles, runs anywhere from 2 to 6 miles, walks with my mom, had dinners with family, a fun Halloween, a quick visit to a nearby casino, and most recently, I’ve been getting ready for hunting season. I was able to sight in my rifle with my dad and uncles Jerry and Kenny, and yesterday we found the trees we’re going to sit in for opening weekend. And tonight it’s snowing! Perfect! On Saturday I begin a week of sitting and wandering in the woods for hours on end. That just sounds… great.
So I suppose each day, for now… I will remember back and move forward and see if I’m able to hang on to this new clarity.
Here’s a few photos from my, uh, mini adventures… from the last month or so.