What I cherish most about our travels are the lessons that we are shown in all of our experiences. It’s not just what we learn about the locations we visit, it’s also what we learn about ourselves, our team, and how we respond to the rigors of the road.
For many weeks, I had been harping on how different this tour has been, regardless of how special each of our experiences were. “We’re not camping enough. We’re not in the woods enough. God damn it! I just wanna get lost in the woods!” These are the things I had been telling myself because nature was the catalyst for a lot of my personal growth last year. I set the expectation that the woods would help heal the perpetual mental trauma that has been persistent since the wreck last year, and so I found myself lost inside of my head and feeling unfulfilled. I wasn’t present enough to understand that I was being healed with every stop, every gig, every handshake, and every hug.
Friends we’ve known and friends we are just beginning to know have opened their homes, themselves, and their communities to us. Our family reunion brought together friendships and laughter that haven’t been shared in years. We were also able to cultivate deeper relationships with our distant family, as we have all gained some wisdom since the last time we gathered.
I finally started to wise up one night on Long Island when I was hanging out with a friend by his pool. I actually said out loud what I had been thinking about this tour being different. He said to me in the most straightforward of New York accents, “Yeah? But it’s been good, right?” After a slight hesitance, it was like every experience we’ve had flashed before my eyes, and not one of them carried the weight that I was continuing to haul all across the country. In fact, all I could do was smile. I had been so dead set that the answer to my woes was getting lost in the woods that I failed to acknowledge the healing power of each experience I was having daily.
It’s a tough place to exist for me, but god damn it, when I’m here in the present, I can truly see and feel the beauty of everything that surrounds me. Without my head focused on hypotheticals, my heart is open to give and receive freely. I didn’t know it then, but this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I have, at least for now, found peace.
I’m typing this from our camper at 10:41pm on July 4th in the White Mountains near Jefferson, NH. The crescent moon in the clear, star filled sky has waxed considerably since last night. The faint sound of DIY fireworks displays has silenced, and all I can hear now is the random cars on the highway in the distance.
We had an epic day hiking where each of the three trails we chose was absolutely amazing. There was some rock crawling to cross a river on the quick and easy Trestle Trail, a steep hike up a rocky path to summit Mt. Willard, and a drive for the books up Mt. Washington to the summit only to start a hike that plunged over the rocky, southern face of the mountain into what seemed to be an alternate world. Looking back up towards the summit, the terrain reminded me of the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy. Looking out down the rocky, silver-flecked, quartz rich trail, the vibrant green hues that surrounded us, and the hazy layers of mountains in the distance begged us to believe we were suddenly in Ireland.
Despite my physical pain, I was able to fully enjoy myself and my time with my family today, not because the woods solved all my problems like I thought they would, but because I was able to reflect on our experiences and shift my perspective. I’m still learning to manage expectations and stay present. We had an amazing weekend with new friends in Vermont ,and after two days in the White Mountains, we head to Acadia National Park tomorrow for more adventure.
Each of you whose paths we have crossed this summer have had a significant impact on my much needed shift in perspective. The time we have shared together has transcended from moments that have passed to building blocks that have helped create a stronger foundation for every new adventure we embark upon. None of you knew what I was experiencing, yet your everyday love, kindness, and generosity were paramount on my path to healing. I lay here humbled, grateful, and inspired. Thank you.
Until next time, Remember to be kind to yourselves and each other.
Much love to you all,