Pacific Crest Trail Reflections

10/13/10 PCT Day 132

Holman Pass–17 miles from the Canadian Border.  Still ill–23 mile days out of Stehekin have been taking everything I have.  No appetite, nauseous, weak, fever–but still striding ever northward.  Cold rainless days through the jaggedy wonder of the North Cascades–a stunning and fitting finish.

10/15/10.

Up just before dawn, as usual, head full of reflections.  A lifetime of wonderous sights packed into a single season are hard to comprehend. Looking out over my tea to the lightening sky and sound, I am grateful for the experience of the last five months, and for the opportunity to merely sit indoors.

This reflection especially has struck in many forms while on the trail:

—Cease attempting to stop, contain, and cling to the unending flow, it is too playful and changeable for such attempts.  There is no securing your security.  Realize the futility and tragedy of a distinct ego or self.  Fill your eyes with the beauty of all and cultivate instead peace of mind.—

I am also reminded of the words of John Muir to a friend about to re-enter city life.  I copied them into the register at Monument 78 in Canada, and repeat them here in hopes of heeding them:

“You are going on a strange journey this time, my friend.  I don’t envy you.  You’ll have a hard time keeping your heart light and simple in the midst of this crowd of madmen.  Instead of the music of the wind among the spruce-tops and the tinkling of the waterfalls, your ears will be filled with the oaths and groans of these poor, deluded, self-burdened people.  Keep close to Nature’s heart, yourself; and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain, or spend a week in the woods.”

An incredible journey this skinny, long-bearded, joy-infused ascetic will never forget.

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~ by Scott Hamilton Peters on October 17, 2010.

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