‘Shona is My Sherona’.
I’m sitting up, propped against my pillows in what used to be my favourite place – my own bed. It’s my first time to wake up here in nearly 6 months. It feels comfortingly familiar yet I also feel a shadow…. It’s 10:30am and over the last week I’ve got into a habit of sleeping in.
On trail I had to get up and get moving early every day. There was no decision to be made, no choice. I had a clear purpose and direction. Today I’d set my alarm for 7:30am – there are a tonne of things for me to do….but none feel urgent enough.
The early darkness, the drizzle that’s neither snow nor committed rain and the cold, made my Inverness home coming feel a bit dreary yesterday. Yet the warmth and love of my family felt like home. Dad’s wood burning stove and his thoughtful questions, Mum’s feeding me and her expressions of joy to ‘have me home’, Jo’s tight hug and squeals.
And now it feels strange to be alone in my house yet I also wanted this alone time.
Friends ask if I miss the Trail. I sometimes answer ‘yes’ and othertimes ‘I don’t know’.
I miss the simplicity, the clarity of purpose, the community, the outdoor living, the physical beauty, the shared kindness and the people. And yet these are values I pursued in my life here before the Trail. More than ever I’ve a desire to continue to nurture and pursue these values.
I feel like a wild animal who’s taking a few days hibernation… but who’s soon going to be stretching out, shaking off in readiness.
New research on post thru hike depression suggests that it’s about loss of a sense of self in relation to the trail, rather than a loss of the trail. (See https://thetrek.co/post-trail-depression-not-think/)
I believe My Sherona (my trail name) and Shona are the same person. Maybe My Sherona was braver, hardier and more confident but these are all things she’s teaching Shona. She was also less addicted to her smart phone and more present – again I’m learning.
For now I’m just going with this gentle grief and not putting conditions on myself as I transition. Today I’ll vote and unpack. It’s enough.