Keeping the Faith - A Journal Entry
I had lunch yesterday with my good friends Dave and Lucy, a couple that I adore and respect. To me, they are the epitome of a loving couple with a beautiful and enduring relationship. Married for a very long time; proud parents; partners; lovers; they are what we all seek to be when thinking of how relationships should work. It is always such a joy to be around them, and I am honored to call them friends.
As we sat around the table discussing life and plans, we talked about the difficulty that they were having making some 'life' decisions. I listened and then shared my thoughts on the situation, thoughts largely defined by my experiences over the past three years of learning to trust that all things work out. That we can't define the path in our head, but only through our actions. We hugged, said our goodbyes, and I left, knowing that whatever path they chose, happiness awaits them.
Fast forward to this morning, where sitting outside watching the sun rise, I grabbed my phone and scrolled through some of my old journal entries. I often go back through the entries I wrote this year, reading them and reliving my thoughts, memories, and emotions while out on the trail. The titles of my entries are very non-descript, generally only the dates and possible the location where written. Nothing in the title gives much insight into the contents of the entry. Today, as I read the entry I chose, I realized that once again, Spirit, God, Universal Energy,... whatever you wish to call it, had reached down and given me a nugget directly relevant to my friends Dave & Lucy. It is a nugget with much wisdom that can be condensed into one simple statement:
The path you build is the one created with each step you take. You can't see into the future and you can't go back to the past. Today is the only day that you truly control, NOW is the only moment in time that you can LIVE. You must have faith that the only way forward is one step at a time with no thoughts of your choices being right or wrong. Spirit, God, Universal Energy,... whatever your belief may be, will be there for you if you simply believe.
Below is the Journal Entry that I read, exactly as written April 24th, 2011:
4-24 Manchester to Mendocino
I woke slowly from my lovely spot under the trees. A light rain during the night barely penetrated the overhead canopy. This park is lovely and yet almost empty. The nice couple from SF had given me beer the night before and then pancakes and sardines in the morning.
It was overcast and not looking promising but I willed myself to move forward. I don't mind taking days off but I really like to take them off in spots that I can enjoy. While this was a nice campground, it was not where I wanted to hang.
My legs were heavy and it was a struggle all day. Many thoughts were weighing heavily on my mind. I was running out of money and there were things that I needed to acquire. My shorts were damaged and I was getting hungrier by the day. Heavy thoughts that combined with the clouds, and my tired legs had me a bit down to say the least. The sun began to clear around lunch and I stopped at this lovely little beach park overlooking the Ocean. The clearing skies made the water a deep blue, it was perfect place to sit and take stock of all that was good, a way to push out the negative thoughts that often find a way back inside my head.
As I ate I had the opportunity to talk to several people, but one young guy stood out. He reminded me that part of life is setting your intent and then letting that intent manifest into reality. As I rode off it got me to thinking that is exactly what I have been doing. Of late I had been thinking much about money and how to make some, how to acquire the things that I needed, but then I realized that was the wrong way to be thinking. I recognized that the reality was -- my intent has clearly been to travel, spread peace and love and inspire others to do the same. The manifestation is that i am actually doing that; it is the path i am already traveling. It is not about money and it never was; I must always remember that. My previous life was about money and it brought me no happiness. My current life is about living, and that, brings me much more happiness than I ever thought possible.
I realize all of this and know it in my core, but still it is good to be reminded. This young man, who walked out of nowhere and talked to a simple stranger, had suddenly adjusted my mood and put me back into a place of alignment with all that surrounds me. Life was good and I found my faith. I left that picnic spot, overlooking the cliffs and blue waters of the Pacific, with a huge smile on my face.
The smile soon faded to a frown as my legs somehow did not get the message from my brain that all was good and so I struggled with the hills , my legs just dead. I had no juice at all so I limped into Mendocino. What a lovely town built on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. I wandered a bit and then made my way to the coffee shop for some joe, some power, and hopefully the Internet. Camp was only 2 miles north so I had time to kill. It is there that once again, in the same day, I was taken aback by SPIRIT'S desire to watch over me and provide for me.
I met a couple, David from Boulder and his girlfriend from SF. We had an awesome conversation about my travels, life, the US, checking out, etc right there on the side of the street. We talked about all of those issues that I feel so passionate about. His girlfriend was in dire need of checking out and I think my conversation may have helped inspire her to make some big life changes. At the end and out of the blue, David handed me a $100 bill and told me to go buy new shorts, it was his gift to me, like my words were gifts to them. It was such a gracious act and one that reinforces everything for me, all that I believe; it reinforced the strong faith I have that all will work out, everything will be as it should be. In light of all that I have received over the last three days and the emotional highs and lows of late, this was one of the most precious and timely gifts I have been given. And yet, there was one more, even larger gift to be recieved.
I said goodbye and promised to stay in touch, perhaps even to visit David in Boulder where he offered up a place to stay. I headed out shortly to the state park where I intended to camp a few miles north of town. When I arrived, the sign indicated that the park was closed for the season, it was still a bit too early in the year to be open. At first I was quite upset as I thought through my options, all the while feeling the painful sensation in my very tired legs.
But then, in a blink of an eye I realized that this was all part of the path, the perfection that lie in front of each and everyone of us if we simply take the leap and choose to believe. You see had I know that this park was closed I would have stopped at the state park on the south side of town and I never would have had the chance to meet David. I never would have had the chance to give him the gift of my travels and for him to give me the gift of $100. It is all part of the path and everything is perfect -- another beautiful and timely gift had been received.
I now had to find the strength to make 10 more miles and luckily this was all downhill or flat, something that I desperately needed.
What an amazing day!
To Dave & Lucy and all those that follow along: This story is not unique to me; it is in fact the way of life. If you are in the throws of making tough choices, worried about how they will turn out. I say take a deep breath and follow your heart. Make the leap and you shall fly. Believe, believe, believe and when that is done, take another deep breath and believe some more.
Peace & Love