By: Dwayne Parton

Less than A Month

You know it’s almost scary how fast time is moving. January flew by. Did we just skip February? We are already almost 2 weeks into March. Life moves so fast it seems impossible to accomplish every thing that I want to. All this will come to a screeching halt for me in less than a month. These busy every day things will be no more and for months on end I will be in the wilderness. I imagine it’s going to be a type of culture shock. Better said, a lack of culture shock.

No more burning free time with Facebook. No more wasting nights on movies. Just me, my dog, and a very long trail. It’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m imagining the difficulty of what is before me and in a month I’m sure I will have realized that “I thought it was going to be easier than this.”

I’m looking forward to those difficult moments. The times where you just feel alone. I’m looking forward to the fear that creeps in while you sleep. I’m looking forward to the routine. Everyday focusing on the task ahead of me. Every day one step closer to the goal.

This will stretch my world view, broaden my horizon, and force me to step out of what has become a safety net. It’s time to disconnect from all this connectedness. At least in some small way. Even though I’ll still be writing, I plan to avoid the harbingers of connectivity….Facebook & Twitter. My hope is to break the habits we use to avoid awkward situations. To avoid pulling out my phone when I’m eating by myself or when I feel alone in a crowd. I want to learn to embrace those moments. To stand confidently in them. I want to absorb the awkward conversations, situations, and mishaps that happen along the way. To embrace this experience.

Above all I’m looking forward to spending days on end with my creator. Dwelling in the house that he has built for us. Living purposefully. Eating intentionally and rationally. Giving thanks for the little bits of magic that greet me along the way. It’s going to be a very special time I know. One that I will remember for the rest of my life. And it’s less than a month a way. It’s hard not to feel a little anxious.

I hope you will read some of my posts as I go. I’d love to see some comments here because I won’t be using Facebook. Hopefully, I’ll have some pretty entertaining stories, maybe some advice, probably lots of what-not-to-dos, and some great pictures. Anyways, I’m pumped to have this opportunity to thru hike the Appalachian Trail. It’s off to the races April 9.

The featured artwork is Saving Daylight by John Hunter Speier and go check out more of his beautiful pastel creations. :)