Day 7: Walking the Path Alone

forest-trail

He hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. All 2,179.1 miles of it in 6 months. Alone. I chatted with him at a recent event at Lake Katherine Nature Center. His essential gear–water pouches, bedroll, and a “cookstove” made from the bottom of a soda can–were spread across the display table.

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Day 6: “Wander” what your purpose is?

I’ve been oddly obsessed with the concept of “purpose” since I was a kid. I had what I would call an “encounter” with God at about the age of nine, and I was convinced that when God “called” you, that meant you had to be a missionary to cannibals. Cannibals eat people. So I just lay in my bed and balled my eyes out.

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Day 5: Dropping Blessings like Breadcrumbs

Her sturdy frame was hunched as if the bag in one hand and the purse in the other held bricks not books. She reminded me of pictures you see of women from other countries, bent low beneath the weight of baskets or swaddled children…

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Day 4: Leaving Anger along the Path

Several years ago, a study of 70 million posts on China’s version of Twitter mapped the interactions of users and four key emotions expressed. They found that “anger spreads wider than any other emotion.”

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Day 3: Wandering into Surprise

bootie-woods

I had barely mixed the pancake batter before my three year old had launched into her morning ritual. Indifferent to breakfast, and blonde, wispy hair still looking like a homeschool experiment in static electricity, she pointed at the back door and tugged at my hand…

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Day 2: Finding Courage as We Wander

woman-forest

My grandmother could have a fearful spirit. At the same time she was taking me for walks in the woods and keeping my early wanderlust satiated with pricey subscriptions to National Geographic magazine, she was sticking newspaper clippings about murders and kidnappings beneath our State Farm refrigerator magnets.

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Day 1: Finding Healthy Habits as We Wander

winter-woods

That first walk in the woods with my grandmother ushered me into the “wild,” into an environment that was not my neatly mowed yard with the metal swing set and chain link fence.

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