Open And Share [on Merely A Thought Monday]

We have “go” bags packed. One contains our important papers. The other has a change of clothes and the dog’s leash. It’s not that we’re paranoid. During the civil unrest a few years ago – buildings ablaze and murder on the streets just a block or two from our house – the local authorities advised people to be ready to leave on a moment’s notice. We prepared our “go” bags and thought it such a good idea that we’ve never unpacked them. Now, when the tornado sirens wail, we simply grab our bags and the dog and descend into the basement. Easy-peasy in times of scramble.

Each night we watch Youtube videos of people hiking long distance trails. Often the hikers talk about the moment that they “leave” the mindset of the city and enter the freedom of the trail. Everything they need they carry on their backs. They cease dealing with what is supposed-to-be and fully enter life with what is right in front of them. There is a plan and the plan is constantly in flux. There is little to no consistency. What they can and cannot control becomes readily apparent.

What is most important, what is consistent to all of their stories on the trail, is how important other people become to their experience. Leaving the mindset of the city brings them back to the basic tenet of their humanity. They are totally dependent upon the kindness of others. They enter an ecosystem of mutual support. The illusion of “every-man-for-himself” falls away. They open. They share. They fill themselves with gratitude for others. The people who try to go-it-alone don’t make it very far.

I think that is why, at the end of each day, we watch these people on the trail, with their “go” bags on their backs and their hearts bursting with appreciation for their lives and for those who walk with them, if only for a day. They remind us of what’s most important. They cut through the noisy abstraction of news and ratings and likes. They don’t expect their walk to be easy or comfortable or pretty. They remind us to fill our days with gratitude for others, to turn toward our fellow travelers rather than turn away. They offer a hand and accept assistance. They share. They remind us, in our scramble to find safety in the storm, that life in an ecosystem of support is what it’s all about.

read Kerri’s blogpost about STORMS

3 Responses

  1. […] read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY […]

  2. I did my first month in the wilderness backpacking in 1975. It changed everything for me. Thank you for this reminder 😊

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