I met soldiers returning from war and people recovering from a death in the family. Certain stock phrases were repeated. "I needed some time to clear my head," they said, or "I knew this might be my last chance."
Perhaps this need to clear my own head is what's led me to the trails so much of late. I dropped my brother off at the Pennsylvania-Maryland line of the AT for his first solo hike (he covered some 60 miles in 4 days, traveling from PA through MD to WV, where he was picked up), and rather than dropping him and going back to the grind, I joined him for a few miles and then ran back to my car. I've run in the woods, placing one foot in front of the other, blindly following the path laid by others, thinking of everything and nothing. And I've walked. And walked. And walked.
I find that, despite my exhaustion, I'm restless. I cannot stop moving. I cannot sit still. This restlessness does not lend itself to reading--even my mind is restless, which has made audiobooks a challenge--but it does lend itself to traveling. So on I go, wandering, trying my best to take some time clear my head. If it's quieter than usual here in the meantime, I apologize.