We hiked the first 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail last year until I broke my foot and we retreated down south to Mexico. At some point there was this sign, on the side of a long, straight stretch of trail, I guess just in case people got lost and were trying to figure out were they might be. It made me laugh pretty hard on a hot, sunny day in the desert.
Here it is, with a poem too.The trail twists and turns as my feet sling a world of earth turned dirt, turned sand, turned rocks along the way. The trail twists and turns but it stays the same, passing me by through the mindless effort of onward, onward, and onward only. And with my thoughts and pains, beauty comes and goes like a reel unfolding in the back of my mind, unreal of foggy exertion and too many things seen. Under my beaten feet, the path rises and falls like a mighty chest breathing of an ancient rhythm I beg to understand, but knowledge always runs ahead of me, a measly breath out of reach. And when suddenly the mind wants still, but the body won’t, the trail keeps egging me on, “Onward, onward,” it whispers as I limp away, “Onward some more.” And years later, returned to the gargantuan flow of my urban life, to the comfortable, complacent, trifecta of my daily routine, meadows, deserts, and mountains still call on me once in a while. “Onward,” they urge from under infinite skies as I waste in commute, in lines or at a desk. “Onward,” they whisper, necklace of steps beaded in my mind of so many instants in the purest of experience. “Onward, onward some more,” they plead of me.