Wow! It's been a long time since I've posted anything on here. Perhaps this entry will help explain why.
From the time I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated with journeys. The very first journey I remember was going to Grandma’s house. She lived far enough away that it was always an overnight trip. At the time, it was the destination(Grandma’s arms) rather than the travel that appealed to me, probably because I had to share the back seat of the car with my three brothers. Baby sister was in the front seat.
When I was old enough to read, my favorite books usually involved someone going somewhere. Little Heidi took a trip to see her grandfather in Switzerland and was in awe of where he lived and his simple lifestyle. Then I discovered the books about families going west in the 1800’s to find new homes. Their journeys were difficult ones and I marveled that their dreams and goals were so important that they faced many dangers to reach them. Many of them walked all the way across the country with limited resources and fewer comforts. Their courage inspired me.
My parents were not rich, but they made sure our family took a few journeys. We went camping in Kentucky for several years, living in a pop-up camper and living on fried potatoes and the fish we caught. It was the simple life…the kind that minimalist now days only dream about.
As a young mom, I loved to watch “Little House on the Prairie” with my kids and was amazed at the courage of the Ingalls family as they lived with only the bare necessities of life after they traveled to their dream.
Then it was my turn to start taking trips with my family. We did the camping thing too, then graduated to condos, hotels and even a cruise. Those journeys took us to some interesting destinations and family time I will never forget.
Then there was the trip of a lifetime when my husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary. We climbed on his Harley and went all the way to the Pacific Ocean, taking with us again, only the the bare essentials. Now that trip was more about the journey than the destination.
There are emotional journeys too. There are those paths that take us through bad times like grief, disappointment and financial stress. And, some that take us to the very pinnacle of happiness.
There are journeys through the phases of our lives. Marriage, parenthood and retirement are just a few.
Probably the most meaningful journey throughout my life has been my spiritual one. I’ve learned that if I’m not moving closer to God, I’m drifting away from Him. There doesn’t seem to be a holding pattern in that journey.
In the past couple of years, I’ve journeyed through a difficult time. It’s been a time of transition and there have been major losses that resulted in intense grief. There has been disillusionment and what felt like betrayal. The transition from a career I loved to being retired was unexpectantly difficult.
Fear and anxiety from a combination of situations pushed me to the edge of clinical depression that resulted in a lack of pleasure in life, and the disappearance of the creativity that had always helped to define who I was.
But there were slivers of unbelievable joy that shone on me through that difficult time and they helped to save me. Watching my children become successful, not only in their careers but in their personal lives as wives and mothers brought a sense of satisfaction and pride. Just being a grandparent brought me indescribable joy and the patience of my lifelong companion brought a sense of security. The support and prayer of some special friends and family was invaluable. Most of all, it was the unfailing faithfulness of my Shepherd who has walked through every valley with me that helped me through the darkness.
As I come out of that dark time, I am planning a journey that I never thought I would be able to take. Because I’m a lover of natural beauty and simplicity, and because my enjoyment of walking (that has helped to keep me healthy at the age of 64), I am going to endeavor to do what those inspiring pioneers of old once did. I’m going to walk across part of our beautiful country. On May 15, I’m going to begin a section hike of the Appalachian trail. A friend with a mutual desire will go with me on my forty days in the wilderness. If you know your Bible, you know that 40 days in the wilderness can result in some drastic changes in a life. I am open to whatever lies ahead.
If you’d like to follow me on this journey, you can do so by reading my Appalachian Trail journal at the following website.I would suggest you read the "about" section first and then start at my first entry on the prehike part of the journal.