All right. So doing maths is difficult on the trail, maybe. Here I am, multiplying in my head. O hello, tree. Right. Multiplication. LICHENS. Hum, ok. Multiplication.
[Thirty minutes later]
-Squirrel. Squirrel. There it is. Hey, self, remember that time it rained the entire time we were walking through Alabama, and we amused ourselves and smallest brotherski by counting the number of squirrels we could hear falling out of the trees? (It went something like this: rustle rustle- SQUIKKK- Thud. The “squik” was when they realized they were falling.) Haha, that was hilarious. Poor squirrels. Hey. Wow. Look. An edible leaf. It will die when everything freezes again. I shall eat this thing. Rocks! I LOVE ROCKS. I will step on them!
…Here I am, stepping on rocks. This is so great.
…Wow, look. Moss. I’ve never seen that kind of moss before. Fluffy and green. Not that delicious. I’m hungry. No. No stopping yet. You just ate. But I’m hungry now. No. You still have to climb this mountain. But I’m all for instant gratification. No. NO SITTING DOWN. Besides, you can sit at the top of the mountain. Okay, self. ….But I’m still hungry. …NO.
All right. So my internal monologue usually contains more silences; and a bit of tree-and-bears-and-deer-and-squirrel-and-fox-and-wind listening; but the point is that, by this time, we have forgotten all about the multiplication we were doing in our heads. (Trees. Wind. Sometimes so cool.)
YOU, on the other hand, can do math. (Yes, especially you, my students. Verily. Incredibly well. I have seen this; do not even attempt to deny your excellence.) June 12th was our start date; we have walked 1433 miles since then, give or take about fifteen. How fast does this mean I am going?
I have not bothered to calculate this in my head. Other people, however, have asked me things and then quietly done the maths. I have seen them do it; and I will tell you a thing, my peoples. There is enough time in the world for you to finish doing what you need to. Maybe it is not enough to accomplish everything you tell yourself you ought to accomplish. We are shortsighted, and not yet wise; and we live in a place where many things can happen at a fast pace and often things (or people) get left behind. Nobody knows for sure if it will be all right, or not.*
But it is all right, anyways. Here you are, excellent. Here am I. Excellent. Both of us are happy that the others are there. This is quite good; and sometimes, my best beloveds, it is enough that you exist.
Don’t get all sentimental about it. I’m busy. Also, ye gods, if anyone else tells me I’m doing this wrong, I will regrettably violence their kneecaps.**
**Knees are fragile things, best beloved. Take care of your knees.
On another sweet note, my deranged dulcimers, someday if you are lucky I will actually take time to write you a proper update. (Foliages!) For now, I would highly suggest making a sandwich from the Thanksgiving leftovers that are possibly in your freezer, and then going outside briefly, into this incredible unseasonal warmth and sunshine errywhere, all sunshine, all over, aww yiss.
Best of Decembers to you, until I can pull myself together for writing you a proper update :).