Fear and Loathing

Taking this picture marked an important shift in the woman I thought I was.  We had long since left behind the cool mists of Roncesvalles in southern France.  The days had been so hot, a string of these early in my journey, nearing the mid nineties with little shade or shelter from the sun along the trail.  Just a few lone trees and a long way to go before arriving in Los Arcos later that afternoon.  I wasn’t sure yet how to deal with the heat.  My tank top had white racing stripes from top to bottom, indicating a body losing a great deal of salt and hailing as I am from Minnesota, THE land of ice and snow, my internal thermostat was screaming, “What is going on here!?”  Maria (my steadfast and ultra kind companion) and I stopped to rest in this just enough for the two of us, tiny patch of shade.  My cheeks were flushed, and relief came when I removed the red pack and long- sleeve Columbia hiking shirt that was protecting my prone to freckles and sunburn, pale skin. After drinking a full, lemon-flavored Aquarius and then water,  I laid down on the ground.

To my surprise, I felt amazing.  Beautiful amazing.  Accomplished amazing.  Strong amazing.  Yes, this may have had something to do with the fact that I was lying on my back and had stopped walking.  But these were new feelings.  A marked departure from the fearful and self-loathing creature I often had hanging around my psyche, always uninvited.  I wanted to capture the moment with a picture. And not a perfect, try and get it right, hide this or that, kind of picture.  No.  Simply one to mark this day, this time when I was spent, but at the same time, jubilant and beginning to feel at home in my skin.



One thought on “Fear and Loathing

  1. Simple sentences of few chosen words that touch the hearts in unexpected ways. Tell me more, tell me more, my soul whispers reading your lines.


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