Finally! After an almost 9 month hiatus, we’re back on the Bruce for the long weekend in May. It feels great to be back. Even so, there is some trepidation about how my ankle will hold up. I haven’t really practiced much, other than occasional short hikes around High Park and a recent 3 hour trek down a steep, rough mountain path in Nepal. I am also worried about keeping up with Magdalena, who has been rigorously training for the Camino which she plans to hike in the fall.
Getting to our starting point early Saturday morning, I am flooded with anxious memories of how our last hike ended. But my ankle is fine and we hike a total of 55 km over the 3 days, averaging about 3 km/hour. Not much by some standards but we are proud of our accomplishment this weekend. And we have reconciled ourselves to the fact that being slow is okay; preferring to take frequent breaks to enjoy the scenery rather than making great time covering long distances.
Physically and spiritually the breaks are as essential as the walking for me. I realize this especially now as I become more aware and respectful of the fragility of my body. One of the lessons that breaking my ankle drove home for me was that I needed “a break” from the rush and busy-ness of life. Doing nothing is a challenge for me. I have a compulsion to not waste time; to fill the void; do something, but I am slowly beginning to embrace doing nothing. I have rediscovered one of my favorite childhood “activities”; lying on the ground, staring at the sky, watching the ever changing cloud formations, listening to the sounds, feeling the grass and insects tickle my skin, emptying my mind and becoming one with the universe.
We finally completed the Sydenham section and are on the Peninsula section now; from all perspectives the most challenging part of the Bruce trail. The end is near. We now have only about 130km left to complete the Bruce trail and there is a sense of urgency to finish this summer, especially for Magdalena who is now focused on walking the Camino in the fall and prefers the neatness of ending one thing before starting the next. Planning ahead we figure it will take us about 8 days to complete, taking into account the logistics of limited road accesses. This should be attainable in 3 summer months, we think, but looking at our already packed summer schedules, we are cognizant that it will be a challenge to find a few consecutive days when we are both free. And so the adventure continues and we may be hoping for a mild, snow-free November … marian