I do not want to be here. Right here is my home where I dream of the trail. Returning home, after a long thru hike, is by far the most difficult task of the adventure. It can be dismal. After months of hiking, a new person emerges from their old shell. Unfortunately, the rest of the world is the same. Upon reemergence to regular life, one tries desperately to hold on to their “new self” and rise above the day to day chaos and strife. Little by little, life’s burdens get heavier and heavier. Slowly, the real world smothers the life out of this new person. After living such a beautiful and peaceful life on the trail, being home is too complicated, too busy, and it goes against all the common sense of what life is supposed to be. I put my head down on my pillow each night, and visions of the two foot wide path that was our home for six months frolics in my head. I yearn for the dirt we walked on, the water that surrounded us and the trees that towered above our heads. I miss that never ending big blue sky and all the little life forms of nature we encountered every day. Each new sunrise that greeted us in the morning and sunset that we went to bed with, became my dearest friend. We grew deeply connected to the earth as each mile passed by. I realized that humans and the earth are entwined deeply with one another. We come from the same source with each individual having an important role to play. The tiny microscopic fungi growing on a dead and decaying tree is just as important and beautiful as the tallest tree in the forest. Eliminate the smallest aspect and all falls apart. We humans are no different. Because of the unique path of each individual, no one is more important than another. Each person has their own individual lessons to learn. With this in mind, each deserves not to be judged. Instead, they need to be embraced with respect and kindness for the job they must do. That is the way of a thru hiker.
Mama Raven, November 2016