~ Henry David Thoreau
|McMahon Avenue, Kingston, Ontario, Canada|
Last year we barely had any snow. But it is amazing how much change can occur in one year.
|Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
The Path I chose to follow in 2012 started with a long lonely journey but it brought me to this road; a stretch of open road ringed by desert mountains that lay out before me, teaching me that life is full of possibilities. The minute I arrived on this path I fell in love with my journey but getting here was not easy.
|Boiler Room Climbing Gym, Kingston, Canada|
I started the year by climbing the walls. Literally. I joined a climbing gym. Once strapped in to my harness and roped up I began walking the walls of the cavernous gym. Forged by the fire of pain and sweat from each climb my muscles began to take shape and to tone my arms and calves.
The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
|Kingston Mills Locks, Canada|
Technically I was never alone during my climbs. I always had friends standing by to support me and to cheer me on. Though I was accompanied by a guide, my journey into the desert was a solo venture. Solo by the very nature of the inner workings of my mind, body and spirit. I saw beauty and adventure in places that only people who stand on the precipice of their world view can see. I saw potential in my life. Through my experiences on the walls and rocks I was able to see things from up close. I was able to feel smaller muscles that I never thought existed. I was able to put my nose to lichen and limestone and smell the musty scent of the world. I smelled the musty scent of a life that needed more action and so I made the decision to seek out adventure.
|Walking into the desert was a defining moment for me. Red Rock Canyon, Nevada USA|
Upon entering the desert terrain my thoughts consumed me. My emotions flooded me. The hot sun, the smell of the dry mountain air, the sage brush and yucca plants all stood at attention waiting for me to succumb to the magic of it all. I scaled the red sandstone walls of the canyon. Upon reaching a small ledge on the wall I had the opportunity to sit and take stock of how it was I came to be sitting there, as much a part of the landscape as the wind the sun and the rocks.
So this is what it is like to walk into a new environment with an open soul.
|Contemplation: Red Rock Canyon, Nevada USA|
It had taken some encouragement to take this journey. I followed the advice of a sage world adventurer and ended up on the first of many adventures to come. But not all of them would require a trip on a plane.
I decided I needed more time for contemplation and that the best way to achieve it would be by clearing the space in my head. To do so meant I would need to walk more. Climbing gave my body the boost I needed. It gave my body a thirst for oxygen and for the pounding of fresh blood that ran through my veins carrying with it ideas and inspiration.
The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.
~ Charles Dickens
And so it is I made a decision that would propel me into the world of walking.
I decided to walk with purpose.
I decided to walk with reason, with mindfulness, with faith.
I decided I was going to take a long walk with a friend in an attempt to consolidate my health with my happiness. This journey would require training, of the mind, the pen and of my physique.
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
~ Albert Camus
|Me and Jenn. Wolfe Island, Canada|
Meet my friend Jenn. She walks with me in spirit as she lives half a world away. Together we walk on opposite sides of the world, she with sandals on tropical beaches, through monsoon rains and on distant jungle paths.
I walk on city streets and through suburban landscapes. I walk on pre-Cambrian Canadian shield, by great lakes and rivers populated with modern industry. I walk in the boreal forest and through big box parking lots.
Our paths are divergent but will soon be merging to create one big meaningful journey.
The new year will yield promising new directions for the both of us as we plan for our adventure.
I will keep walking, training and writing here in North America and Jenn will keep walking, training and writing in far corners of the world but we will together walk the crooked paths that will lead us to fresh new vistas.
“As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.
~ Woody Guthrie
As I walk into a new year I will be walking for you and for me. I will be walking with Jenn. I will continue to walk and explore the little things in life that transcend the every day ideals and lift our expectations of ourselves. I will trespass against the ordinary and bring to life in great detail the extraordinary facets of life that so easily get trampled on and forgotten.
Join me. It is going to be a life changing year.
Join me. It promises to be a good year.