By Amanda Cleary Eastep
My younger daughter has spent the last several years taking pictures of her feet. Not the bare feet kind with an ocean view in the background, but pictures of her boots ready to hit the next path, whether it took her down the hiking trail or to northern Africa.
My paths have been shorter, and my older daughter and I spend a couple of days a week hiking through the “wilderness” of Chicago’s Cook County forest preserves.
At the end of this month, as I trudge familiar paths, still sometimes dreaming of trekking in Nepal or once again walking along the shoreline of a Scottish loch, my friend Erin Dooley will be walking the Wicklow Way in Ireland.
Erin, a former co-worker and fellow writer, has inspired me over the years with her sheer determination to write and create films, even in the middle of the worst time in her life.
She recently released her documentary A Way to Forgiveness about her journey–a spiritual, emotional, mental and very literal journey–to forgiveness as she hiked 550 miles across Spain along the Camino de Santiago.
On April 28, Erin will begin her walk and is inviting others to join her in a collaborative film making project, Wander On Purpose.
I’m in, if only from my familiar Chicagoland forest preserves.
As per her project plans, I’ll be shooting supplemental footage (b-roll, if you like sounding official) on at least one of my hikes and videotaping a few thoughts about one or more of Erin’s topics, below. Then she’ll incorporate my clips into this shared story of fellow, life travelers.
I’ll also be writing a short post for each of the seven, themed days Erin is walking.
Finding…Healthy Habits, Courage, Surprises, Trust, Joy, Purpose, and Meaning
Like Erin, I believe walking (especially hiking) is necessary for my spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Maybe for you it’s a different practice, such as painting, singing, running, or gardening.
I hope that those of you who read will share your thoughts and experiences about your own journeys in the comments that week.
Wander on purpose, Erin, and go with God!
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
If you’re interested in participating, visit Erin’s website.