Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hiking Sharpens Senses

The views for the past few days have been spectacular! They surely remind me of the greatness of God and, at the same time, brings me face to face with my own frailty. How blessed I am to walk along these hills & mountains, to share the forests with His amazing creatures! Truly I am fortunate.
Yesterday it seemed that after 4+ weeks of wilderness sojourning, my senses were finally beginning to soften & open to the sights, sounds & smells of the glorious outdoors. At one point, it was almost as if I could reach out & stroke the mountains, run my fingers along the texture of the treetops, or smoothen the wrinkles in the seeming fabric of the landscape.

Our senses have become so dulled by the world and its petty obligations it imposes on us day after day. It takes time for our hearts & minds to shed the callouses that stifle our senses & blind our thoughts. It's that coming together of all senses which Rilke wrote about years ago~a sort of synergistic action where every sense is experiencing its own facet of a single action, thought or emotion. It's as though I've had to wait & see, hear, smell, touch & taste everything, learn to use all my senses again, yet in a different, more meaningful way. The schedules & pressures of life seem so small out here, so inconsequential. I see the attraction that long-distance hiking has for thousands, even millions of people. I can only pray that I don't lose this appreciation which is growing within me!

~Journal, May 5, '08.

Spoke with Aboman through email a couple times recently. He asked when I plan on hitting the Trail again, and said he'd meet me somewhere. It'll be good to see him again.
~The Pilgrim.