Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring is here ...

I awoke at 5:00am today although when I glanced at my television’s cable box it said six-something … a reminder that we had “sprung forward” somewhere during the middle of the night.

Spring marks the official beginning of the thru hiking season on the Appalachian Trail. My original plan was to kick off my hike on March 15th but, to be honest, I’m glad I had to push it back to April 1st. Since this is an El Nino year the weather has been extra cold, snowy and wet on the east coast so the extra two weeks will actually work out to be a blessing instead of a hindrance to my six month timeline.

As I walked into my living room this morning I bumped into a moving box and awoke my dog Nixon. His head popped up from behind the Salvation Army donation pile and he watched me walk to the couch. Moving the pillows aside I called him over with a pat on the cushion and he jumped up eagerly. Nixon isn’t typically allowed on the furniture but this morning I didn’t care.

I sat there, with a small amount of light filtering out from the bedroom, petting Nixon and enjoying the simplicity of it all. Sitting on a couch. Petting my dog. The warmth created by the furnace that kept the air temperature a perfectly comfortable 70 degrees. And I thought … why is it that I’m creating this self-imposed turmoil? Why walk away from the best job I’ve ever had and leave my friends who I enjoy spending time with? Why worry my family for six months and what can I say to alleviate their fears and calm their nerves? What the heck am I doing all this for?

As soon as I asked myself that question I already knew the answer. It’s true, I may be relinquishing financial security and many physical comforts (for a time) but the tradeoff is an acquisition of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual gifts which – for me – can not be measured, quantified or hung on a wall. This adventure is a journey of personal discovery and how could I not take it?

So … with Nixon sitting on the couch and the sun slowly starting to rise outside I surveyed my stuff stacked, piled, boxed and scattered about the living room. I realized that I’ll see it all again, in six months time, as I unpack it someplace new. Hopefully having completed one adventure I’ll be starting on my next … whatever it may be.

Happy Spring everyone.

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