“Wait,” Momma says. I peek out with one eye. Daddy does too. Momma never, ever interrupts prayer.
“Uh, baby,” says Daddy, “I was finishing up.”
“I have something to add. Lord, bless my mom, and thank you that she went into her retirement fund and gave us the money for the down payment. Help us turn the basement into a suite so she can stay here sometimes.”
“No, Lord,” Daddy says.
“Yes, Lord,” says Momma.
The following quote marks a turning point in the author’s life story. This is followed by multiple extremely difficult circumstances beyond her control, exacerbated by a litany of her own seriously bad choices. All of this ultimately leads her to the PCT and the beginning of the journey detailed in this book. While this is not a spiritual journey per se. there are moments (here and there) that can only be described as deeply spiritual – most are the good kind, but they begin with this.
It was the same when I tried to pray. I prayed fervently, rabidly, to God, any god, to a god I could not identify or find. I cursed my mother, who’d not given me any religious education. Resentful of her own repressive Catholic upbringing, she’d avoided church altogether in her adult life, and now she was dying and I didn’t even have God. I prayed to the whole wide universe and hoped that God would be in it, listening to me. I prayed and prayed, and then I faltered. Not because I couldn’t find God, but because suddenly I absolutely did: God was there, I realized, and God had no intention of making things happen or not, of saving my mother’s life.
God was not a granter of wishes. God was a ruthless bitch.
–Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Do you ever think back over all of the problems you’ve faced, the prayers you’ve prayed, and the final outcomes? Do you ever compare all of the time spent asking for God’s help to the times when help was received, and then look up to the sky and think “Are my messages going into your spam filter?”
Yeah. Me too.
-Just some random thoughts floating through the head of Adora Myers
“Don’t look back! Don’t look back, Soren! Believe!” But this time it was not Grimble calling. It was Gylfie. Just as they reached the stone rim, they felt a curl of warm air. And it was as if vast and gentle wings had reached out of the night, and swept them up into the sky. They did not look back. They did not see the torn owl on the library floor. They did not hear Grimble, as he lay dying, chant in the true voice of the Boreal Owl, in tones like chimes in the night, an ancient owl prayer: “I have redeemed myself by giving belief to the wings of the young. Blessed are those who believe, for indeed they shall fly.”