As we walked today, Lena and I talked about how often we leave towns in the dark, and sometimes walk in the dark for as much as an hour or so. As I think we said before, we kind of like it. The dark feels welcoming to us.
What I/we find interesting is that this kind of darkness walking is something we would rarely do in the United States. But here we are finding our way through strange large cities. Sometimes we find that revelers are still in the street from the night before. We are moving though farmlands and forests in pitch black trusting that we are on the right path. We are strolling down empty paved roads, believing that if a car comes out of nowhere we know how to get to the side of the road and be safe.
I have never spent much time in California walking through the wilderness in the dark. I have never wandered the streets of Sacramento before the break of dawn. I think I might be afraid. What is that about? Two days ago, Lena and I were walking through a forested area, and my flashlight created a shadow in a strange way. I jumped back in fear, but realized it was the first time I had been afraid like that on this whole trip.
What creates a fear and what creates trust? Do I trust because I know that so many have walked this path before me? Do I trust because I am with the person I love most in the world? Do I trust because I can see the scallop shells and yellow arrows pointing the way? (Which I don’t always…) Am I just foolhardy? It is interesting that darkness can have such a negative effect on me at times and at other times seem quite benign.
Today was a long day, and it felt longer than we expected it to be. It was blissfully flat and smooth and I was grateful for many, many steps of the way. But I got a bit cranky by the end. What was interesting is that at the end of our walking day was when the light became most brilliant and revealed so much of the beauty of the day. Thankfully, though I could have, I didn’t miss it. I’ve included a few photos of what we saw.
Tomorrow, another long day (18 miles) and another big climb. Always new challenges. Darkness and light.