Friday, October 09, 2009

Summing It All Up (NOT!)

So, It's been 12 days since I summited Katahdin and brought my
thru-hike to a close. I think some folks are expecting -- and maybe I
have been expecting myself -- to see a nice, neat summing up here of
what this whole trip was all about; what meaning and insight have I
gained from my hike.

Sorry to disappoint, but I have no idea. Certainly, I think about the
hike a lot; every day in fact. But what I think about is mostly simple
memories of moments along the trail. I find I miss the simplicity of
trail life. I think about those days in southern Virginia when I was
gliding over the trail effortlessly, day after day (okay, okay, but
that's how I remember it). I think about how lost I felt when I got
off the trail in Waynesboro and was home for the first time. I yearned
for the trail so badly then.

But I have no idea what this all is supposed to mean. A smart friend
told me that I will be assimilating thing experience into my life for
years to come. I think she's right.

Allen F. Freeman


Ken Williamson said...


A philosopher once wrote:

"The moon rises a thousand times but the leaves of a tree fall harmlessly to the firmament of the earth with golden cones of light shining glitteringly into the void"

I hope this helps.


Allen Freeman said...

Thanks, Ken. Surely, that is a philosophy to live by!

James Phelps said...

Allen, the hike itself took time and effort. The understanding of it will surely take the same. May those simple memories bring complexities of joy.

Tom Reingold said...

Allen, as you may know, I took a three-month "walkabout" on my bicycle through Europe when I was 20 years old. That period had as many lonely or frustrating or sad or disappointing moments as ordinary life does. But there were two large differences, which are related.

One is that everything that happened felt like it was my choice, good or bad.

The other is that life was simple. The things I had to think about, do, and plan for were all on a short list. Life in the real world is complicated, and these journeys of simplified life can serve to remind us that all the complications of life might and might not be necessary. But taking things apart and seeing what all the components are certainly can help us decide what's important and what's expendable in our lives.

Does any of this make sense?