There are two types of people in the world; extroverts who thrive on being with people and introverts who enjoy solitude
. I am definitely in the latter category. Time alone for me is not just a luxury, it is a necessity.
I need to be alone with my thoughts and my fears. I have always joked that I could solve any problem if I could walk far enough. 7,000 miles and counting. Still trying.
Happily B enjoys her silence as much as I do. Maybe this is why we make such good walking partners.
Although we travel together and enjoy meals together, we walk separately-usually within sight of each other but not always. Every few hours we stop and reconnect, have a bite to eat and check on the condition of our feet.
People ask what I think about day after day, walking between six and eight hours. Amazingly the time flies by.
Sometimes an email sets my agenda.
An email from my husband makes me think how lucky I am to have a husband who puts up with me disappearing for a month or more each year.
I think of the amazing adventures we have had for the past 45 years of marriage . I think I don’t tell him often enough how good it all has been. I vow to tell him more frequently the future.
I see a young couple and think of my children. I remember the days they were born and try to figure out how they hit 40 so quickly.
I look at their marriages and hope they will be as happy as I have been. I think of them and wish I told them more often how proud I am of the lives they have made. I will try harder.
I see some children and think how much I miss my grandchildren and how much it hurts that they live so far away. I think how much fun it would be to walk a camino with them.
I laugh at how they make fun of my Rhode Island accent. I resist sending them post cards with my illegible handwriting. I vow to do better at keeping up with their lives. I vow not to sulk as one by one they grow taller than I am.
I think about all the people I have hurt and hope they can forgive me. I think about the people who have hurt me and try to forgive them. I tackle my fears and try not to live in the past. Every step is a prayer.
I look ahead and see B and think what a good friend she has become over the past 17 years. I think back to friends now dead and give thanks for their place in my life. I thinks of friends who have been there for me when I really needed a friend. I vow to be a better friend.
I pass a garden and wonder why my peppers grow one pepper at a time and the Spanish plants are covered with fruit.
I wonder what kind of fertilizer makes a spaghetti squash grow as big as a pumpkin.
I wonder why their dahlias don’t get mildew.
I vow once again to find a place to plant sunflowers- maybe not quite this many.
I plant my garden over and over. I dig things up and move them around the yard. I see a great window box and think I will copy it next year. I order hundreds of bulbs in my mind.
When the path is easy and I can look up instead of down, I marvel at God’s beautiful world and determine to do my part in taking care of it.
I wonder what god was thinking when he created slugs and llamas.
I really wonder what god was thinking when he created me!
Happily I’m not done yet although today’s walk is over and it’s time to think about food.
And tomorrow I will walk on with a new set of thoughts to see me down the path, one step and one prayer at a time.