...I found myself at the top of Mt Katahdin having reached the final white trail blaze of a trail that had led me through fourteen states, numerous river crossings, countless mud bogs, clouds of biting insects, frightening lightning storms, backwoods eastern american towns, hundreds of picturesque vistas, meadows full of wildflowers, and a wild roller coaster ride of emotions. That journey chiseled into my soul a deeper understanding of living each day to the fullest, of making each moment count. Truthfully, I can't say that I follow those guidelines always, but my heart always comes back to that little "jaunt in the woods", the lessons I learned while there, the freedom to walk and to think and to be.
This week I counted down the days, remembering the final moments of last year's journey. I could almost smell the damp, cool air of the last few miles of the 100 mile wilderness. I could almost hear the excited murmurs of the thru-hikers as their insane dream became a reality. I could almost feel all of the emotions that ran deep that day; the sadness, the joy, the weariness, the triumph.
A quote from Henry David Thoreau that has been an inspiration to me: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined".