As I loaded my pack for a fall trip in the Ozarks, this favorite quote came to mind and made me think. What do I really need to carry with me when walking a trail? Then a larger question came to mind. What is it I need on this walk through life?
What I’ve thought was indispensable to a happy life often proved to be insignificant clutter, based mostly on what our culture proclaims we must have. Much of what we label as sacred has shown to be hollow, or at best, a shallow imitation for holy.
I’ll place a few essentials carefully into my pack – food, water, shelter, and coffee. In addition to the pack, I’ll carry my mind and a pounding heart. The trail will provide the remainder of what I need.
As I receive what the trails have to offer, I sometimes whisper this song. “Wine from water is not so small, but an even better magic trick is that anything is here at all.”
There’s a rhythm to the trail. Sometimes it develops over time in patterns of the day. When I get deeply submerged in the hiking experience, songs come to mind and they’ll live on in my thoughts as I walk along, spurring me onward.
Below are a few reoccurring songs that I love to hear as I walk. I rarely hike with an iPod and never backpack with one. The songs are in my head, playing all the time….
When I’m feeling strong, “Mountain Dance” runs through my mind. Thank you to Dave Grusin for writing this!
For some reason, Sweet Baby James comes to mine often. It is one of the few songs I’ll sing word for word as I walk along. “Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won’t you let me go down in my dreams.” Lots of relaxing words for walking.
Another regular song is “Country Road,” by James Taylor. I think about this one when the trails follow old forest roads. I guess old James Taylor has been a big part of my life’s soundtrack. He has remained creative for the long haul!
This song by Peter Mayer comes to mind when I’m feeling a sense of awe while walking through the woods.
Sometimes I think about change, good and bad. Family memories, loss, and blessings come to mind as Carrie Newcomer’s short song, “Leaves Don’t Drop They Just Let Go” sings in my thoughts.
When I feel the urge to get away, I’ll hear lines from “My Brother Wind”. “Made up my mind to go somewhere so far away, I headed west.”
Darrell Scott is a favorite. His earthy songs ring in my ears on the trail.
I am curious if others have favorite songs that accompany them on the trails. Music is an essential part of my life and I’m thankful for musicians who provide a venue for my thoughts while hiking along.