So thinking of you, good hikers on the Great Trail, I thought of a meditation by the famous 20th century Soto Zen priest and roshi, Kobun Chino:
"Immediately after you stand on the peak of a mountain,
you step forward and begin to climb a higher mountain,
which is down below."
I expect the fullness of that metaphor is something all of you are coming to feel in your bones. If not yet, then soon.
And thinking of all you hikers and angels and lovers of the Trail whom we will be meeting, I offer something from Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Obama's half-sister, as she recalled their mother:
“She felt that somehow, wandering through uncharted territory, we might stumble upon something that would, in an instant, seem to represent who we are at the core. That was very much her philosophy of life — to not be limited by fear or narrow definitions, to not build walls around ourselves and to do our best to find kinship and beauty in unexpected places.”
I suspect in one way or another many of us may find we have this in common, this line of fire that is the trail, that connects us, and along which we wander through "uncharted territory ... to do our best to find kinship and beauty in unexpected places."
Can't wait to see you.