No matter how short you think it is
told true, the trail is always long.
If you want to know what it all means,
it means exactly and only what you think it does:
you do not hike a path, you blaze it as you go.
So do not talk of the distance i’ve trod
but of the way i’ve left to go.
And if by that i am telling you what i want,
i want exactly and only what you think i do:
you do not want in vain, it burns you as you go.
Now you know how I make the miles of a long hike disappear; I try and write poetry in my head as I walk. It doesn’t do a lot for my daily practice of mindfulness, but it sure can make a trail go faster!
We are such curious things, aren’t we? Human beings, I mean. How much do we yearn to be safe and careful and free of worry and doubt? How much do we fear the unknown, when it is in the unknown that we find our strength, our purpose? How often do we do and want things that are inimical to our well-being?
And yet that is the way we are and that is the way we continue to be. I do not have any solutions here, I am as puzzled by me as I am sure you are as puzzled by you, as we all are puzzled by each other.
Or at least it is so for all of us out on the hike and not sitting on the couch at home.
Thank you for reading On hiking. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.
© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem, either alone or with the notes that accompany it, may be printed and distributed—in part or amalgamated with other works—as long as the copyright notice and the address,
, are also clearly printed with it and there is no fee charged.