By this time in my life I have ceased to be very surprised by the big changes, perhaps because I felt all of them were cast by my own hand. I have wrapped myself in drama and romance for so long they are as natural to me as the autumn breeze or falling rain. Part of me is constantly examining the motivation for my choice and reflecting on what that means for my character. The other part is comfortable and grateful for the freedom of my choices and thus it makes every moment sweet and luscious.
To bask in the romance of my wandering likely defiles so much of the purity that is to follow the trail. Nonetheless, the time is spent in such deep introspection that I believe it is in fact quite beneficial for my growth as a person.
Each day is a gift of the infinite wonder; the journeying between the temples gives ample opportunity to practice gratitude. The austerities I place om myself, though decadent compared to the practice of clergy or the impoverished, is a large step away from the superficial nonsense sold by the integrated world. I keep small comforts in books and occasionally music, but for the vast majority of my indulgences are produced and consumed only the mind. Opportunities for contribution are rare, but respect for the environment and my prayers during meditation are a start.
The road is often empty, at times I walk days without talking to another human being. Yet I am not alone, humanity is omnipresent. The actions of others are what make my journey possible, even the mountain trail is passable due to the efforts from 1200 years of seekers before me. I cannot take a single step without some sort of blessing. The taste of the wind, the moisture on my back: every second a lifetime of stimulants wash over me, blessing the heart with a myriad of phenomena to examine.
I used to wonder if others could feel and appreciate exactly as I do, but less and less do I think it matters.