From a pandemic shutting down the world officially for me on March 17, 2020 to me sitting on my sofa throwing my own personal pity party to me deciding on May 20, 2020 that I needed to do something to move my body again to me heading out the back door to begin walking around my small but deliciously lush and private backyard to me having my pedometer app tell me "hey, you've walked from London to Paris!" after 135 miles to me being like "hey, I can create my own damn milestones!" to me deciding that I'll walk to Queens, New York to "visit" my friends Heidi and Kim (whom I was supposed to visit just as the world shut down) to me realizing it was going to take over 2 years to get there based on my backyard walking patterns to me feeling strangely sad about that (why? It's not like I was really walking there) to Kim and Heidi saying "well, we could start heading your way" to us deciding that any form of self-propelled motion could count towards us heading towards each other to us creating a Google sheet to keep track of our collective miles to us marking milestones along the way (500 miles! Crossing the Mississippi! Entering Kansas! We're half-way! It's your birthday! One year of walking!) and pointing out interesting things we were each "seeing" to us saying "wouldn't it be wild if the next time we saw each other in person was at the location where we might meet up while walking virtually across the country?" to the U.S. kind of opening up based on vaccines and a decline in covid cases to all of us planning to visit family in different parts of the country this summer to us realizing "hey, holy shit, maybe we can meet up wherever this mythic place in the middle might be!" to us planning logistics around that possibility to us...well, to us tonight.
Tonight, exactly 1 year and 12 days after beginning our self-propelled trek towards one another, our combined mileage equals 2,422 miles, which means we've met in the middle. Of the country. Of our walking/biking/running/rowing efforts. Of the pandemic (maybe). And we now have a random location on a random road in a random part of eastern Kansas that we will drive to from opposite ends of the country, get out a few hundred feet from, and walk towards one another as a symbol of coming together and surviving this past year in a way that gave us something collectively to look forward to.
We have a date. We have a time. We even have a flag, thanks to Heidi's skills as an artist. And now we have a location, too.
|Meeting in the middle, middle of nowhere, eastern Kansas, United States, North America, Planet Earth|
I can't wait.