Hiking to Nowhere | Mark Lindsay

Everyone seems to be trying to get somewhere. Is all this effort getting us where we want to go? The sweetest moments in life are those that are aimless, when your spot in the world ceases to be a pin in a map and transforms into the only place in the universe to be. I suspect most all of us have experienced this tiny window into bliss.

One day my dear friend planned a big hike for us. It had many crossroads, places where one could get offtrack and lose the scent of the trail. It was a burden for him to keep us on the eighteen-mile course, a big responsibility to keep us on track. His map seemed glued to his hand. He was in charge of not getting us lost. Halfway through I could him and another friend in a moment of aimless frivolity. The map disappeared—time and direction seemed meaningless. Though fleeting, it was joyous. A half mile ahead another crossroad would appear and the map would come out again.

I sensed this moment in time, a transient moment when the hike's agenda evaporated into the fresh scent of pine. I let them get ahead of me, not trying to keep up for just a second or two. The photo is nothing dramatic, but only a simple reminder that the best hikes are the ones to nowhere.

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