Just finished a forty mile training hike near my home with my new hiking partner for the JMT. All went well. Enough experiences to test our stamina, both physical and mental, to test our gear and to test our compatibility. We hiked on the PCT at an altitude of 4500 -7000 ft. There was enough elevation gain and variety in the trail to give my hiking partner a taste of what she will encounter on the JMT. The anxiety that rumbles around before one goes out for adventure makes for alertness and better preparation. I am happy to know again that my body is doing just fine with the distances and that it will take minor gear adjustments for the bigger hike in August. Following is a bit of an impression of being on the trail.
Juicy dark green conifers against patchwork green quilts of meadows throwing their arms out against the sky. Beige buckwheat meadows, grey rock against lavender colored alpine lupine meadows. My eyes open wider, undisturbed by overload. The only moving parts are the clouds and my body. I am seeing everything at a hiking pace of two miles an hour. Gratitude lifts my spirit, gratitude for yet another year of health and walking in this godly landscape. Life is more than its parts here. Life is complete, full, and I am connected in my walking, my observing. I observe my feet, where I put them on the trail, I observe any unusualness for safety and for delight. I am here, all day from sunrise over snowy Mt Shasta, to sunset on the ridge toward Mt Ashland. This is the land I have chosen to love and live in. This land supports me, gives me sparkling water cascading down through bright green grasses, gives me powerful, sweet tasting air in my lungs, gives me pungent smells in my nostrils. I receive these gifts and let them nourish my soul being, my belonging self.
The history of a land, a country, starts with the love for that land in the heart of a person. In the sun, in rain, in cold wispy clouds shrouding the pass as I cross over and descend in the warmer comfort of a tree covered valley. I love the land as it takes me to its heights and shows me its greatness, reach, and undulating ridges, dressed in a pale blue veil. I love the land as it displays its colors in tufts of bright yellow Oregon sunshine, sprightly upright blue flax and purple lupin, larkspur, penstemon, and houndstooth, white yarrow, pincushion, Columbia windflower, and candy flower. A lonely not yet open white summer lilly is a messenger of purity to come.
Rest for the mind is being here and now. Any restlessness is walked off, breathed out, slept away in the dark of night. A starry Milky Way covers me in a moonless night sky. Like an animal, I curl my body, my hands tucked under my face in a babylike clenching, veins pulsing, relaxing the contractions of the day. My activities are dictated by the light of day, the dark of night.
Living in balance, living a life of natural acculturation allows for love and harmony. Today I am in balance, today I am living in love.