I've been wearing a ring around the middle finger on my right hand for almost a year and unfortunately due to a random turn of events, have lost it. Yet it still feels as though it's still there. Shadow pains? Who knows...What I do know is that I'm currently sitting in a cafe on a rainy day; planning a route up a mountain that doesn't look particularly comforting, thinking about a flight home which feels like an age away, wondering whether I've lost my way or if the trail behind me is the only line to be left on this palm. Truthfully, a year of apprehension. Something I've never been particularly use to. The years I've spent prior to this one wandering these open roads have always been less calculated, less thought out. It's not that this year lacks spontaneity but it's more that I've developed the eyes and foresight to see when throwing caution to the wind is worth it, and when it is not. You've got to temper all of your thinking to the point that you may not be doing the right thing, because you're bound to make mistakes. The idea is to minimise those mistakes. Because out here. A mistake can mean life or death. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps. Makesure you've got the space to run so that when you take that great leap you'll find earth beneath yearning toes.
I came here with a goal. To find a deep ingrained connection with the land I'm standing upon, with the river that brings life, with the howls of wolves, the meandering footprints of the bear, the undulating run of the Chinook. I've found these things. Wolves have slept by my fire, I've ran at a bear to see and perhaps feel it's reaction. I've even followed the gnarled back of a sitka to it's top, to find what Muir found when he weathered a storm in the highest reaches of a tree. But despite all of these things, I've not yet found myself. A constant unravelling no doubt, but one that keeps me missing the skin. Missing where I should be, what the next step is...I've looked in the high country hidden in the glacial caverns, above the eskers of a past never to be found again. Deep in the rushing streams found at the confluence of curiosity and the cracking of a crevasse.
The way has not been in vain, this trip just like every one before it has not been in vain. I've found, something solid enough to stand on, the largest rocks of this earth. Friendship. The rocks must always be accounted for, as they take up the large spaces in our hearts. The pebbles of passion can find their way to piece in the gaps. The sands of stress may seep their way into the last vacant portions of even the fullest of hearts, regardless of the certainty's from the rocks of friendship and the pebbles of passion occupying full capacity. Yet, the soothing nature of the sand is that it can be changed, it can be altered to hold the beauty of our identity. A heart filled with stones, pebbles and sand will always have room for what we are all made of, the last 50-65% of us, the mutable seasons of water.
There will always be another ring to find it's place on my finger, there will always be another journey to fuel my imagination and another set of footprints leading to where I find myself. But aslong as these stones are placed well, aslong as the pebbles between them hold me to my path. As long as the depth of the water of my being can find the roots of those grains of concern, As long as in those depths I can find an iota of peace. Then, I will continue to find comfort in the fact that everything will come to unfold exactly as it does. Continue to stay like the water of the river I've learnt soo well, moving around the stones, between the fallen trees, escaping the stagnant states of the oxbow - of a known pool for the masses which hold only the emptiest of hearts. Winding it's way beyond all of that, to find exactly what it's looking for, the Sea. It's changed state, where I belong.