Spy Rock to Three Ridges – Chapter 22

I walk on the Appalachian Trail from Spy Rock to the Three Ridges.

I pass the stone monolith on Priest Mountain

I read Chapter 22 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“If you want to become whole,

let yourself be partial.”

On Priest Mountain, there are magical places.

A view

“If you want to become straight,
let yourself be crooked.”

“If you want to become full,
let yourself be empty.”

In this place, you can touch the face of God.

The trail begins a 3000 foot descent.

“If you want to be reborn,
let yourself die.”

“If you want to be given everything,
give everything up.”

“The Master, by residing in the Tao,
sets an example for all beings.”

“Because he doesn’t display himself,
people can see his light.”

This lady does “trail magic.” She gives ice cream to passing hikers.

I am climbing the Tree Ridges, a 3000 foot ascent.

“Because he has nothing to prove,
people can trust his words.
Because he doesn’t know who he is,
people recognize themselves in him.”

“Because he has no goad in mind,
everything he does succeeds.”

I pass over the summit and reach Hanging Rock during a thunder storm.

As I descend, lightning strikes about 100 yards away.

“When the ancient Masters said,
“If you want to be given everything,
give everything up,”
they weren’t using empty phrases.”

The next day, I reach a place where the trail crosses the Skyline Drive, where there is a view of the Three Ridges from far away.

“Only in being lived by the Tao can you be truly yourself.”

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