A decade ago today my feet ached and my back was sore.
A decade ago today I was three weeks into a two month hike.
The day began warm and sunny, but by the time I met you, the sky had grown dark and fierce and windy and the rain was pouring down.
I’d reached the shelter before the rain. I was dry. I was warm. I was looking forward to crossing into North Carolina the next day.
I was writing in my journal, snuggled tight in my sleeping bag, when I heard steps and looked up.
You were soaked to the bone. You were wearing that blue rain jacket and your hair was cropped short. Your pack looked gigantic stacked on your sinewy runner’s legs.
You had the biggest smile I’d seen in weeks and when you turned it on me, my heart skipped a beat.
I wasn’t looking for love. I was still healing from a deeply wounded heart and was looking for peace. But your sweet smile made me ache. Your sweet smile stayed with me and got caught in my thoughts.
It would be months before that smile became part of my life and years before you’d promise that it would be mine forever, but a decade ago today you first turned it my way and my life has never been the same.