Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Obama recently told a city street full of my hometown that if you were successful - you didn't make it to where you are today by yourself. I've seen / heard more than I would like to about campaigning and who's delivering the most deceiving campaign platform this presidential go-round. Four years ago, when all of this was happening, I was traversing the New England woods. And as Obama's votes came in, and cracked walnuts sat on the stoop of an Emory & Henry porch, we rejoiced in hope, and change, and the bright sunrise of a new season. Tonight Geronimo and I are in a cozy bedroom as crickets buzz and thunder rumbles through damp Appalachian night. We breathe deep, and Iron and Wine starts picking and pulsing. When I was in Maine I felt so far from this place. Preparing for the southern leg of my Appalachian Trail traverse, I anticipated lonely days and quiet woods. Insert - a little help from my friends. I ordered a cheap, light, sansa MP3 player, had it shipped to one of my very best friends - Carrie - and asked her to load it full of music and forward it south. The responsibility of DJ ing some of my toughest times on the AT was no small task - which Carrie took to heart greatly. (Carrie is remarkably / unhumanly thoughtful) So as the sun shone in Georgia, Ben Lee sang me forward. When I was sick and internally wrestling the future of my traverse, Damien Rice plucked my heart strings beside the Nantahala River. And as the cold,late-fall winds swept far southwestern Virginia, Iron & Wine whispered through bare branches and snowflakes. So it's August, four years later, and Southern Anthem soothes a tired mind. The thunder is a distant quiet one. And I think of Carrie, and the kind of love and thoughtfulness that binds a fellowship together. A love to make warm on cold windy walks, and shed light in blurry dark moments. "When that southern anthem rings It will lay her burdens down" The opportunity to be truly known and loved by another creature feels rare and raw most times. I am extremely blessed to have a handful for such long-term, deeply intimate fellowships. Jeremiah Johnson texts me begging for a hitch from an Oregon roadside near the PCT, and Michelle teases me about birthing babies from her nursing program in Washington, and Hillary vents from a lake cabin in northwest Montana, and Sarah counsels from her new home in California, and I think about my favorite Batman, Spencer. And Geronimo snores. My eyes are heavy, and I am not alone. So we sleep to another night of destination unknown, wilderness road - not walked alone. With bright eyes and sunshine towards the hope and change of a season to come. Oh thank God for that thunder, these guitars, and fellowship to dance in darkness. Lord knows I can't get anywhere by myself, nor would I want to.