I left DC before sunrise, extracting myself from the comfort of my dear friend’s home and into another level of the unknown. I had a route to the Blue Ridge mountains; a day long adventure in Shenandoah National Park, which literally is a mountain top driving route traversing due south up, down and around the highest elevations of Virginia. And some, if not, many, have hiked the length of it as it forms a major section of the Appalachian trail, the footpath connecting Georgia to Maine. (At this point in my life, however, I prefer to drive 🙂
The day was filled with solitude. There was no historical site to seek out or experience, no national history download. It was me and my cat, stripped down to raw basics without any particular mission.
There were periodic walks and the ritual of setting up my own private coffee bar. (I brought a camping stove, coffee bean grinder and a pour over for those special occasions which occur multiple times a day).
The deeper we got into the mountains, the more a deep feeling of loneliness and sadness crept in. I could feel myself wanting to call a friend for comfort (distraction). There was no cell reception so I was left in a pool of me, a stripped down version of with some unfinished business arising in the form of sorrow and despair.
I wanted to quit, head home, give up the sojourn. And the better part of me knew that going home was a way to get back into the habits (distractions) of day to day responsibilities and work. I think work and busy can be medicine masking the symptoms and therefore the cause of restlessness.
Restless. What an uncomfortable space to live in.
I got to Roanoke crying. I sat in it. I began to be able to observe it. Found some beliefs that were leading to such sorrow. I questioned them.
They say, “The truth will set you free.”
One truth I am realizing is that I was looking for the Underground Railroad to see how those in bondage found freedom. The Underground Railroad has been hard to find. There are no specific maps or signs. Just clues.
(My navigator knows where the map points to freedom.)
I am starting to realize my underground railroad is buried wounds and lies that surface in the quiet spaces of the stripped down version of me.
Special thanks to the unknowing and knowing friends that have checked in on me when they had no idea how meaningful, timely and appreciated that was.
Packing it up for another day on the freedom trail~I see Atlanta in my near future.