IMG_3076-001I have to confess that I have been having trouble feeling inspired to write about our last 5 day hike. Not for a lack of things to write about; the spectacular scenery, so many panoramic look-outs,

evidence of bears, prolific poison ivy that still plagues us both and especially, having Evan finally join us on the trail for a full day.IMG_5881

But despite all that was amazing about this hike, I had a recurring, bittersweet sense of déjà vu.  The saying “same- same but different”  kept popping in my mind, as we passed so many amazing sights, that two years ago would have warranted a lengthy stop and numerous photographs from various angles, but now received just a cursory acknowledgement before we continued on. IMG_3158-001

Maybe it was the combination of the gruelling terrain, sweltering weather conditions, relentless mosquitoes, and a persistent migraine but I definitely felt more focussed on putting one foot in front of the other than in enjoying my surroundings much of the time. And the question we had asked ourselves in the past “why are we punishing ourselves?” came back to haunt me during this trek.IMG_3069

I am also profoundly aware that as we near the end of the Bruce trail, I am struggling with the mixed emotions of completing something that has become such an important part of my life. Of course there is an exhilarating feeling of pride that we will soon accomplish our goal, but there is also a feeling of sadness for the impending loss. I have a new found empathy for all those people I know who struggle with finishing anything they start. There is finality in completion that is comparable to the death of someone dear. In the end all we are left with are memories, photos and blogs.IMG_5876-001

As I have walked this trail I have seen so many parallels to the larger journey of life. Beginnings are always new and exciting.  In the middle stages there is a sense of comfort as we become more proficient and familiar with what we are striving towards. And then as we enter the final stages we often question the purpose of it all and wonder about what is next.   And now as I am nearing the end of our journey along the Bruce trail, I am also confronted with the looming possibility of retirement and with that the end of my career and a big part of my identity and purpose.IMG_3140

But with endings come new beginnings and opportunities to move on to the next challenge, the next venture – for Magdalena it is the Camino – for me not sure yet but I’m confident  something will capture my spirit soon enough and I will move on.  But for now we still have one final weekend to savour and celebrate the Bruce trail….marian 


4 responses to “Endings

  1. Beautiful: pictures, writing, & women. Congratulations Marian & Magdalena!

  2. Beautiful and bittersweet, but SO sorry to hear about the migraine! As you wrote, there are/were enough challenges when hiking. Who needs a headache!

  3. Marian – you expressed so well what I also felt during the last several hikes. It made me sad that I didn’t feel the same enthusiasm and excitement over this extraordinarily beautiful terrain as I had much earlier in the journey.

    I hope to someday go back and re-experience this section with a fresh pair of eyes.

    Best wishes on reaching the end!

  4. Very good to read and live this with you in a small way. Compelling observation and then analysis of the emotions. I like it.

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