Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Climbed four mountains today. Started with Columbus Mountain, Third Mountain, Fourth Mountain and then Barren Mountain. Also discovered why I’ve been struggling the past few days. It’s tough, being female. To have to unwillingly submit to such an inconvenience every month. And no wonder why I’ve been craving iron. All the beef jerky is gone. The amount of energy I am burning, the dwindling amounts of protein and iron in my diet explains why I almost passed out a few days ago.
I put in a good day today. The only real difficulty were my feet. The pain became noticeable after nine miles or so. Especially my right foot, the ball and toes. They alternated between pain and numbness. The trail was rocky, ridged with ups and downs that at times seemed endless. Just when I thought, ‘This must be the last one,’ I would see another up ahead to traverse.
It begins with a ‘random’ thought entering my mind. Why do I need a man to be a mother? Well, other than for the obvious. There are many creatures on this planet with only one parent raising the young. I remembered a study I had read saying that currently forty percent of human mothers are single moms. Perhaps women should re-think their desire and expectations of men. Or perhaps Society and Culture should stop dictating and perpetuating these rigid expectations which people cannot meet. The resulting disappointment would be unnecessary. It’d be pointless actually. Maybe women, no people, should pay more attention to understanding who they are, the cause and effect of their actions, and ponder the dynamics and priorities of this world which we exist in. Defy any and all expectations. If it can be imagined, live it, then it will manifest and be so.
Other ‘random’ thoughts. How interesting that my ex-husband describes himself as ‘widowed’ on his Facebook profile. Such a tragic expression of anguish for his actions that precipitated my flight from him. I wonder if he is still alive. I hope for he is. And that life is really truly good for him. I hope for him to have a realization and to stop asking, “Why did you leave me?” Each time I hear that question, my stomach churns and my heart breaks. Because he knows. Yet, he cannot see, his fear of acceptance and by giving in to those insecurities, how it’s destroyed the beauty we once discovered and shared. Like a small child pulling the legs off, one-by-one, of Daddy Long Leg spiders.
I wonder if I am capable of having children. There were so many opportunities, years spent trying but to no avail. I wonder at the twisty-turny path that has brought me here to this very moment in time. Will I hike the entire Appalachian Trail and still not find what I’m looking for? Knowledge? Adventure? Philosophy? As the man on the Hunt Trail suggested. An escape? A tragic death? I walk in wonder…
I feel very happy here. Each morning I awake and life simply begins. Each day is filled with purpose and discovery on a winding path with an uncertain future around each bend in the trail. It’s sheer bliss, Heaven really, when I reach a lean-to and no one is there. I feel relief and glee. I have the entire moment to myself to do what I want to do and in whatever way I want to. The first thing I did when I reached the Long Pond Lean-to was to take all my sweaty, dirty clothing off. I bathed nude in the cold stream trickling nearby then air-dried by a fire built by my own hand. I spent an hour or more grooming. Admittedly, one of my favorite activities. This solitude, in the wilderness, has been one of the most relaxing and enjoyable times in my life that I can recall.
I looked at my maps trying to discern if I will make it into Monson for my first mail drop tomorrow. The town is listed as two miles off the trail. The post office probably closes at 4 p.m. I think I could make it but it would be late and I would have to stay in town. I’m not keen on that. The hostel is twelve dollars and the alternative is to hike back to the trail and tent before dark instead.
I’m very very low on food. I think I have enough to make it to the next lean-to, stay the night and then into town the following day. My plan is exacting and precise, but, I like it.
Distance: about 11-miles
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