‘Going beyond yourself’
I’ve emerged from a beautiful thanksgiving cocoon into a solitary tiny house of confusion.
Four days ago I drove with my friends, Bill and Paisi, and their parents John and Sandy, from their home in San Antonio to Sandy’s mother’s home – a ranch just outside Houston Texas.
Bill and Paisi invited me whilst we walked on the Pacific Crest Trail. I wanted to go but I also felt conscious that this was their private family time. I didn’t want to intrude.
Within moments of being in their company I observed both their close knit as a family and that they’re a people who go beyond themselves.
Bill’s Texan and Paisi’s from Columbia. Bill’s sister Amy is engaged to Safa who’s originally from Iraq. Their granny, uncles, aunts, cousins and nephew all made me feel part of the family. Their sofa became my bed for 4 nights, their fridge was mine to raid. Every morning I’d walk for a couple of miles with John and Meena, every evening we’d sit around the fire drinking beer and playing games.
They called me ‘Scotland’ as a term of endearment. Yesterday they joked, ‘Scotland’s leaving’. I hugged these dear people goodbye as they dropped me off at my AirBnB.
And for the first time since finishing the trail it’s sinking in that this adventure’s over.
I walked 2 miles to the supermarket, beside a busy road with no trail. I’m now alone indoors trying to watch a film on Netflix but I’m restless. I change the film. I pick at snacks. Scroll on my phone. I craved time alone and now miss the Texan crew… I miss the trail and sleeping outside.
And it’s all okay. I invite this confusion in. I give up on the film and snacks as I don’t want to numb my emotions. I want to feel all the feelings.
And in the sharing here I want to go beyond myself. Transitions are hard and endings can bring grief. It feels tempting to jump to the next positive thing – the planning of a new adventure. But it’s not that time yet. For tonight I’m choosing to sit with this confused hopeful sadness.