Hiking Log – “I’m trying”
About a year ago, I shared that my husband and I had placed a trail log along the Appalachian trail, only about an hour into the woods from a nearby road. Over 600 hikers had signed in during 2016. We recently picked up our 2017 trail log, which contains hundreds more hikers’ thoughts. Rather than being the only one who gets to enjoy the words of hikers, I thought I’d start a new series of posts about these words. I’ll highlight one entry per week and provide my interpretation of what the person shared. You may have a different interpretation. You may even be the author of those thoughts, in which case, feel free to clarify your intent! So here goes the first version of Hiking Log.
June 2, 2017
I won’t share the trail names or real names of the authors, and it’s not always evident whether the hiker was a male or woman. In this case, I’m thinking it’s a woman because of the trail name.
One of the things hiking does, especially if someone hikes for long distances, is to provide lots of time for thought. There is no computer, television or music to get in the way of introspection. And often, there is no other person chatting up a storm. Hiking provides plenty of opportunity to think about our lives, other people, goals, or anything else of import. So it is not a surprise that many of the comments are in some way related to hikers’ thoughts and feelings.
As to this particular hiker, the impact when I read her words was, “How sad!” This hiker is out in the woods, contemplating her life. I read loneliness in her entry. I also sense frustration. This hiker wants to connect with others (or maybe a specific “other”) but for some reason is struggling to do so. I also read hope and determination. The writer continues to attempt to connect with others, by looking in their eyes, by seeing good in those people, and by sheer determination.
I hope now that six months have passed that this person has made a connection that lets her soul sing. Our connections with ourselves and others really are the anchors of our lives. I find personally that when I am able to talk to someone else, even someone at the grocery store or on a trail and make some sort of connection, I am happy. I hope this hiker has found happiness.
And that is the first edition of the Trail Log.
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