Being At One With The Trail

Imagine being strapped to the roof of your mother's car. You are being driven through the countryside. Bugs stick to your teeth. Nobody wants to stop for ice cream. You have no control over the process. You are not yet a complete part of the environment.

Now the car arrives at a trailhead. You are left wearing two left shoes and a pair of extra-small "Batman" underwear. The shoes are sequined. The parking lot is full of Cub Scouts. You've gotta wedgie. They are paying close attention. You will be able to use all of your senses.

Now imagine stepping onto the trail. Before going anywhere, you are wearing welder's gloves and you need to thread a needle. You have been asked to complete an incomplete circumcision on an irritable, elderly bull elephant-seal. Think of yourself as the thread and the trail as the eye of the needle. Knit one, purl two. Do not deprive yourself of any of your senses by separating yourself from what's beneath your feet and ahead of you. Concentrate on neat stitches.

Feel! Feel the dirt! Feel the sun beating down! Feel the swarms of mosquitos and black flies as they make your acquaintance. Feel the pebbles in your shoes. Feel the polyandrous relationships between the chattering squirrels up in the trees. It is seemingly chaotic and formless. You'll adjust. You'll also get the big picture, just start with color number 22.

Process insights in your special state. I'll digress for another 50,000 words using another sport to describe this. Think of the first time you got drunk in high-school and wrecked your dad's Valiant. You will say to yourself, "...Now I get it!". At first everything is odd. Eventually it becomes integrated into your personality.

Now it's night time. How the hell did *that* happen? If you spend all day on the trail learning and working towards insight, by the time night comes, you will have a much easier time. Really, trust me! When you have lots of practice being one with the trail; shoes, shorts, and even flashlights become superfluous. When the light does come on, it reminds you that it's dark outside. You are in it and part of it. A smile appears. Somewhere.

Morning arrives. Are you face down? Sunburnt? Blistered? It's all part of the cosmic curve and, well, ...you know. You may surprise yourself, because you have become "One with the Trail". Heard tell this probably applies at track runs too.

Next Installment: The Tao of PowerBars When They're Shaped into Funny Little Talking Animals.

Mr TS

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