I suppose I’m being a bit (a lot?) facetious about not hiking being agonizing. And I question this need I have to move. Because, as I’m discovering in the early stages of the new book I’m writing, I have a need to move. Yes, hiking is my preferred mode of moving – but travel is something I need as surely as I need air to breathe.
Is it an addiction? Well, I suppose you’d have to define addiction. I don’t like the word because it implies that you are a victim of something (cigarettes, alcohol, sex – I mean these days, you seem to be allowed to be helpless in the face of almost anything.)
So no, not an addiction. I’d call it a love. My endorphins do a happy dance when I move. I love the excitement of getting on a skytrain or in a taxi headed to the airport. I don’t like flying but I like being in a state of movement from one place to another.
One feeling I adore is that moment when I’ve retrieved my luggage from the carousel, emerged from the airport, and arrived on a train platform – and I’m waiting for it to whisk me away to the next place. And much as I enjoy arriving and putting on my hiking boots and slogging up a hill or mountain every day, I do like packing up again and hopping on another train.
I like huge train stations with dozens of platforms, especially those big old stations in cities like Munich, Paris, London, Zurich – the ones with the arced glass roofs where pigeons roost and masses of people are rushing about, grabbing a roll and a coffee at a kiosk, boarding their trains – starting new adventures.
I like getting on a train and finding my seat, settling into the plushness of it – that feeling of the wheels slowly beginning their turn, pulling away and out of the station – and suddenly sunlight and the backs of buildings where trucks unload their goods and people’s washing hangs on lines – and then the speeding up and backyards turning into fields where sheep or cows graze – and the world passing by.
I like the anticipation of what might be.
Hiking is an extension of that – and yet vastly different. Hiking is my meditation. When I am alone, my mind stills. Oh sure, there is always background chatter. I have no idea how to stop that. But it sinks into a rhythm, keeping pace with my feet. And my soul lifts and lifts and lifts. Even when I am with other people, I feel some of that same lifting. Hiking is my drug of choice.
I like the feeling at the end of a long hard day of being physically tired – and elated.
Today I was a bit of a sloth. I wrote this morning – and that was good – but I also essentially lazed in quite a sloth-like way. It was cold and raining and I was grateful that Simon started a fire for me before he left for work.
I walked with the dogs this afternoon.
I may write some more. Maybe not. Maybe another hour or so of being a sloth. Maybe a visit to the garden.
Tomorrow something more ambitious with the dogs – part of Butter. Kinball Lake on Tuesday and then a road trip.
You see, I love road trips (as should be obvious from this post). Movement. Point A to Point B. Yeah. I even think I know some of the origins of this desire – my childhood.
Like almost everything else in life, I can ultimately blame my parents! Awesome! As I’ve said so many times: the secret of life is knowing who to blame. (smirk)