I can’t seem to find the right words, but my heart is … wrong. It’s off balance. Restless. Anxious. Out of sorts. Lonely. Detached.
I know something is wrong, but I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is, or why, or where the root of it – whatever ‘it’ is – lies.
I just know I don’t feel myself.
Yesterday at church I spoke with a family about our name meanings. Naomi comes from the Bible, and means God’s pleasant, joyful one.
“What a perfect name for you,” I was told. “Joy shines from your face and from your presence!” I didn’t tell them my middle name is in fact, Joy. Naomi Joy: joyful joy – I was named after a double portion of it!
Yet here I am, a day later, not feeling joyful at all.
Earlier, the others speculated I might be hangry. It’s generally a go-to guess if I seem snappy or short tempered, but I had had two cheeseburgers for lunch and it did nothing to shake the cloud looming over me.
I’m suspecting maybe it could have to do with the three days in Yosemite?
So many people around (compared to trail life, at least), so much money being thrown around, so little regard for the beauty and nature around… Maybe I’ve just have had my fill of tourists and a National Park turned into Disneyland for the weekend.
Or maybe it’s having spent so much time away from the trail.
I looked up some online guesstimates of timing and mileage, and it‘s got me a little shaken.
With minimum days of 35km and even throwing in more than a weeks’ worth of 50km days, I’m still not going to make it to October until the second week in.
It doesn’t seem like a big deal when it’s in writing, but we’re really really supposed to have reached Canada BY October. If snow starts falling early, like it did last year, I won’t be able to complete the trail.
Pickleback is having some strong thoughts about ‘flip flopping’, which is a common idea being talked about within the community down here. A lot of people have to do it each year, so it’s not taboo or generally seen as ‘less’ – but I see it as less (for myself). A ‘flip flop’ in PCT terms is walking north for a while, say, to Oregon, then getting up to the Northern Terminus in Canada and walking back down to where you left off. You’ve still got the unbroken line of footsteps between borders, they just won’t be in the ‘right’ order. The biggest pro is not having to worry about snow or winter; by the time you come back down, autumn will still be hanging around the further south you get. And less time constraints mean a more relaxed journey, of course. The biggest con – for me – is that I won’t feel like I’ve literally walked from Mexico to Canada.
With this mileage though, it might be something I truly have to make peace with and bow to, to complete the trail miles – regardless of the direction I’m facing.
No point in stressing about it right now. But like I said, something is under my skin and I don’t know what. I’m sure even subconsciously considering a flip flop is causing havoc in the background of my mind.
Change is in the air.
I’ve been lying at the foot of a waterfall. I can feel a slight sheen of moisture on my skin as water rages up and over the top, churning the pool below and throwing mist into the air. I’ve been watching dark clouds gather in the east, and send lightning bolts down every few minutes. Thunder roaring through the valley after each strike leaves me with goosebumps and a feeling of anticipation.
I looked up again, and a heavy, fat raindrop landed directly in my eye just now. Maybe God is trying to tell me I need a fresh perspective.
Change is in the air.
I don’t know what it is yet, but I should stop fearing it.
It can’t end badly.