In Anticipation of a Great Journey
In a month’s time, a small group of runners will traverse the cliffs and beaches of the Wild Coast. Their route will take them from Port Edward to Coffee Bay. 182km in 7 days.
In the days to come, we will travel to another world. A world where time passes slower, and the days feel longer. A world that cares nothing for the time on our watches. A world that is absent of most of what makes our lives comfortable.
To visit this world, we must leave behind much that is part of our lives. A loved one, an important project or a pressing matter that requires your attention. Know that they will be awaiting your return. But for now, your attention will be directed elsewhere.
The joy and anticipation of this great journey will soon overtake the anxiety of what you are leaving behind.
A journey starts with knowing that it will come to an end. The destination gives our journey direction, but it does not define the path we take each day.
The path is determined by the choices we make in the moment. Sometimes the choice will be obvious and the path certain. At times the path will be less clear, and we will have to trust our instinct.
A journey is made great not by reaching the destination but by the discoveries on the route. We may discover a treasure amongst the hills or on the beaches. An artefact washed up by the sea or a fleeting glimpse of a breaching whale.
This is an invitation to my fellow travellers to connect with that part of themselves that desires to journey. I invite you to travel to that mystical place where you may find a piece of yourself that hides beneath the layers that shield you from your everyday world. Be open to a discovery that may come from within you.
The mystery is not knowing what you may discover. There may be fear for what is unknown and, on the other side, joy for what you find. Being open to discovery may reveal a small truth about yourself. It might be a realisation that you are more capable than you think. Or that you have the strength to overcome the difficulty. Perhaps a discovery of some unknown longing that your younger self abandoned.
The remote beauty of an open beach, with hardly a footprint of another being, may remind you that your path through life is unique, and there are no footprints to follow. Yet, the heavy breath of a nearby runner is a reminder that paths overlap, and there is a connection with fellow travellers.
The steep climbs of the rugged seaside cliffs may remind you of the deep struggles of life. Knowing that on the other side is the reward of a majestic view and the realisation that another struggle is inevitable.
It is in the struggle that one discovers the gifts of the journey. It is not about getting to the end of the day’s run; it is about running to the end of the day. That is the difference between destination and journey.