Less than 30 miles of road stretch between where I began and where I now stand. From the hospital by the river to a farmhouse on tall hill we insist on calling a mountain, 43 years of living, 21 years of marriage, 17 years of homeschooling, countless dogs and cats, 3 children, one husband and a thing for hiking, snapping photos, and reading too many books all congeal into who I have become. A wife, a mom, a life learner, lazy and full of ideas, just as willing to walk a ten-mile trek as I am to plop in a hot bath or hammock and nibble away at a novel.
I don’t have anything hard and fast about me, no rules or sayings, no codes I live by. I like to see what’s around the bend, take in the new and mix it with the old. Raised a preacher’s kid, I left religion behind when I reached adulthood. Too much set in stone, too many ways to get it wrong. Too many consequences-most aimed at women and keeping them in line. The only line I want is a trail leading off, preferably flat or even aiming downhill a bit.
My trail name came from my husband and it’s not because I am a human GPS. It’s from the time, in the snow, that I decided home was that way and no amount of talk would convince me otherwise. He took off for the house, I took off for Georgia and our dog finally got tired of me trying to circumnavigate the globe and got busy herding me like a lost cow back to the barn. My sense of direction is usually dead-on, so it’s a good reminder that sometimes it isn’t. And that help can come in many forms.
I am nearly done with this stay at home mom gig, my youngest is nearing graduation and all I do these days is drive him places on occasion. He’s autodidactic and always has been, I don’t even have to nag about math. Journey, Story, and Theory, their trail names fit them well, even if they don’t travel with me much these days. Our times together in tents, wading or floating down creeks, snuggling in hammocks, flipping over rocks, walking across balds and empty beaches, watching sunsets and fireflies, climbing rocks and trees are priceless. Those are the very bones of their childhoods. I am grateful for the time we have had.
I wake now, mind churning, feet itching to go, thigh muscles twitching. I feel the pull of the trail, of getting out and staying out, as a tangible thing. So, come on. Let’s see where we end up.