6. Reflections on the Circle

Everyone travels a unique path. My four distance hikes over five years took 180 days in total, the last day ending with a 50-mile walk. Although these figures were not planned, they coincide with the midpoint of my life and evoke the experience of coming full circle. Their synchronicity seems fitting to me.

The idea of circularity must be native to the mind, if not the pulse of life itself. Whether the cave dweller views the passage of the seasons as one thing, or the scientist views the earth spinning around the sun as another, the basic concept of a cycle remains the same. A single line returns to its starting point at a later time. If you graph the cycle in time, it becomes a wave, just like the ripples of a pond, elevations of a trail, or rays of light.

In reaching back to the origins of my hike in family life, I see childhood influences persisting today. Our dog Stella, who introduces and closes the journal, must be one of the happiest examples. Her coaching drove much of my accomplishment in hiking. Tricia hardly expected Stella’s training to propel me the length of the east coast!

Maintaining continuity in “real life” challenges me. How do you attain success in business, remain happily married, and retain the respect of your children? How do you attain the health to accomplish lifetime goals?

Maybe the “idea” is to develop soft power, the basic energy found in a daily walk.