What Is Love?

Oh, Oregon: I know you don’t like people from California moving up into you, but once they’ve seen you, can you blame them?

I’m ensconced tonight in a dark forest with the daylight streaming through the trees as it slips away. The wind has kicked up, and it’s sort of beautiful and haunting.

The good news is, I made about fifteen miles and I feel entirely in working order. We shall see what tomorrow shall bring, but I didn’t have any problems during the day’s journey. It was a lovely day again; my concern is that all my pictures are just endless shots of the trail disappearing among the trees. The photos just can’t capture the endless layers of hues and shapes kaleidoscoping into the distance. It’s certainly the most beautiful landscape I’ve hiked through.

Now for a whining bit. (I am actually quite concerned that people are going to stop reading this entirely due to my endless complaints about the adventure of a lifetime. To you all, I can only apologize: I’m trying to capture my feelings and thoughts honestly, and I just can’t put on the mask and shape them into a narrative of simple triumph, much as I’d like to.) Today I met a fellow hiker, Quad (and since I’m far ahead of the pack, I may not meet many others). Quad was a genial, gangly young fellow swanning down the trail. He’s been hiking for about a month and a half, and upon my asking how he was finding it, he replied, “Oh, I love it.” We parted soon after as he pulled away at speed.

My only thought and question after this was a simple one: why am I not loving this? It seems like every element—nature, solitude, romantic adventure—is in place, and there are certainly moments of peace and beauty, but the daily journey feels like a weight. I suppose it’s a clash between what I imagined myself to be and what I actually am. As I suggested to my wife, that’s valuable information; it may be wiser to discover it without sinking oneself into enormous and costly projects, however.

Despite this philosophical rumination, I’m doing okay tonight. Here’s looking forward to greater and greater wisdom in the days to come.

I’m not sure this will get through tonight, so I’m not attaching photos. Imagine a picture of a trail wending into an magical forest, and you’ll have the right idea.

Categories: Uncategorized | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “What Is Love?

  1. Lois

    As an Oregonian, I say keep it up; you haven’t nearly seen the best of our state yet!

  2. jerry

    Thank you for your honesty. It’s refreshing in an age of bluster and self promotion.

  3. Alpha Pair

    At least enormous and costly projects come with the rewards of grand revelations and discoveries, even if they’re not quite the ones you were expecting. It’s pretty hard to discover much about yourself from the comfort of an armchair (though I admit, I have made a valiant effort to do exactly that).

  4. Carol

    Keep going and enjoy God’s creations!

  5. I’m still immensely proud and in awe of you for pursuing this undertaking, brother! I agree with the above sentiments and would not have put it so eloquently, but that’s probably because I spend almost every waking moment around the little people. “How do you know unless you try it?” would probably be my comment…While it may not seem like it every day of your adventure, but you are learning a lot and gaining valuable experiences, even if they aren’t the ones you were expecting. Our Father is funny that way 🙂 Still praying for you and enjoying reading about your quest.

  6. Anthony Progenitor Slusser

    Know ye thou not, fine fellow, the personal journal of many a sojourner and expiditiary, are rift with self doubt and honest reflection to which scant few are privy. Be assured you are in the company of the likes of Bird, Columbus! Saul of Tarsus, and more probably every PCT venturers who hath trodden the very earth beneath your feet?

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