I am going hiking. I have this sneaking-out-the-door feeling, as I did when I left on March 4, 2004, and I posted my first trail journal entry, nervous and self-flagellating. To announce one's plans too early is to jinx them, to let them out of the protective circle of one's own intention, and that means that people can crap all over your parade. So I keep things quiet, hold them inside, stoking my own inner fire.
I may go camping and hiking for much of the summer. I've been needing it, a vacation for the soul, hermitage, solitude, trees. So the Appalachian Trail calls me again, for all of these reasons, and I want to go. I want to walk. Unlike last time, though, when I was a 26-year-old marathoner, my body feels weak and feeble, my joints aching.
I am not sure this is a good idea at all. But I know the only way to know if one can do something is by doing it, and I am doing it. I don't know for how long--for as long as my body lasts. I'm bringing enough food to feed an army, and that way I can take my time, do four-mile days, spend sunny afternoons at vistas, hike shelter to shelter.
In related news, we are thinking of putting the boat in the water next season and going back to Maine in the interim, once I'm back, if I come back. This is a difficult thing for me to admit, or even contemplate. I want to finish things, follow through, and I find this difficult process of waiting, of living day-to-day with things uncertain, unresolved--almost impossible. Maybe that's why I'm leaving, to walk, to follow blazes, where the course is predetermined, the route already set.