One of the most striking things I noticed after walking about in the heat for 10 days, was when I came back, after seeming to have a veil pulled off from my eyes to see the cultural diversity and various ways of life changing by walking along the path, what I noticed was how little changed, or will change from the status quo. It doesn’t mean either way of life is right or wrong; it is simply the way and choices we make to comprise our lives.
I am not sure if it is a function of age? Growing wisdom? Or living out the prodigal’s life that tried Solomon’s experiment? Pre 9-11 life was more the norm about stuff, acquisition of more stuff and things. Post 9-11 life has been more about minimal everything and instead of what I see when I go into bookstores to reinvent yourself, I think the path here is simply getting rid of stuff and your old self.
There was brilliance in going back and walking a path used 1000 years before by people as the main trade route. This is as close to the Wild West of nature that many Europeans can get. That is what happens when you have thousands of years to develop the land – I call it a domesticated wild. You don’t have to worry if a grizzly bear or mountain lion will eat you, there is water, roads, if you get lost, just walk a bit – you will find someone.
There will be a part of this book idea that describes the culture of the USA and Europe, and getting “off the beaten path” and how one has to do it in each country. It is almost a reverse process in the two. Both ways have culminated because of the way man has chosen to speed up and optimize life and time on the planet.
The irony is that was the amazing beauty of simply walking each step while the world blew by. You gained vision into a lost perspective of what life really was like at one time and see where we have gone, and if you are a research nerd like me, you can see the great good, and the great evil that awaits society with the coming of the machine age.
But what I do miss is the sound and rhythm of nature. The lapping of the waves, the thunder of a waterfall, the birds chirping, the steady rhythm of my hiking boots hitting the stones with each step. The sound of the wind blowing through the wheat fields and trees. This is more natural to the human body and soul that all the farm machines, cars, vehicles, planes and even the church bells that were my timepiece along the 10 days journey.
But as I sit in this space to work, I hear the people, the noise of man…. church belles ring to announce it is 11 am.
What I don’t hear is anything from nature. I only feel it, a gentle breeze going through the room because I opened the windows to allow the heat buildup from the last week to be replaced with the cool temperature left behind from the summer rainstorm.
I guess that is simply a gift I received in the past 10 days. I got a break from the lunacy of man. Now I am back in it. I know I can’t change it. What I have to do is figure a way to change myself while trying to fit in it…because as I looked around, I don’t think many people are even aware of what I am talking about.