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It’s been a while since I have experienced something devastating. And now I am faced with a beloved pet’s illness that will soon lead to her death and I am back in the depths of grief, wondering why life has to be so hard.

And so I walk. I walk because right now life is too much for me. This is why I began walking, it is what led me to deepen my connection to nature, to explore, to surrender. But I had forgotten what it was like to walk in this state.

To walk when you are hurt is a different experience. It is not a joyful one. I forgot this. I forgot that you don’t notice as much and what you do notice doesn’t light you up.

When you are living with pain or fear, it is enough just to take one step forward. You do not need to believe anything is beautiful. You do not need to feel joy. When the world is just too much, you only need to exist.

If you are in the midst of one of these moments, walking may help, if only in the smallest way. A path will give you the means of moving forward. That is all it is there for on this day. And maybe on this walk or a walk in the future, you will come across the tiniest mushroom and it will make you smile or you will look out at the horizon and it will make your soul feel filled. But it’s okay if today nothing makes you smile.

Today, all that is needed is to walk. And I promise you, as I am promising myself at this moment, that one day, you will not be walking in pain. One day soon, your walk will be about the beauty of the sunlight shining through the trees, it will be about the sound of the insects buzzing and then quieting as you move closer, it will be about the squirrels and the birds and the beautiful world.

So step forward, even if it is in pain. I am here. I am doing the same.

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