His Annual Pilgrimage

Ah yes, it is the time of year again when my husband heads out to hike and ski deep into the Sierra. It is his refuge, his solace to retreat to the wilderness this way. They often hike miles in their ski boots through the desert to reach the snow line and then up 10-15 thousand foot peaks, then descend 10 + miles into the range (all while carrying heavy packs). They set up camp and peak bag from there. They have been doing this annual trip for 20 some odd years and aspire to do it for at least 20 more.

In the beginning, there was absolutely no contact for the week or two they would go out. Now a days they carry GPS phones and send daily text messages (a huge piece of mind). I am glad Andy does these trips. He gets grounded and reconnects with life and presence. All that said, it ain’t easy. You know if he was just going on a fishing trip or something that didn’t have an element of danger and I was able to talk to him regularly, I don’t think it would be that hard. That isn’t this reality though. I am sure many people who have partners who adventure get what I am laying down. I always feel so tense leading up to and during these trips. I worry about him, I worry about us, I worry about just things happening and being apart from one another. I go through this whole process of emotion. This time was no different. I start with denial, then I get mad, then I get worried, and then I realize I love him so damn much I can’t stand being apart or the idea of losing him, then I cry a bunch for the week he is gone.

I am proud of him and this process helps me gain so much perspective on how lucky I am and how much I love him. I think back to when we first started dating and he left for Africa for three months (I later joined him) I remember just feeling like I was physically aching while apart. You know what is cool? Ten years of marriage and about fifteen years together, I still love him that dang much! I am so freaking in love with this man. He is the greatest blessing to ever come my way. So, through the struggle comes the ability to be present and recognize the gifts.

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