My most enduring memory of 2009 is underfoot.

It is in the miles walked. The trails hiked. The places discovered. I trekked ground, rambled paths, and climbed stairs. I strolled through petite towns and powerhouse cities. I wandered along the streets of quaint villages and art-inspired neighborhoods. I took to the woods and water’s edge, to canyons and coastline.

I traveled wide and far- up the 101 in California, to the southernmost point in Key West, back to my beloved Sarasota, around the Southwest, and throughout the Northeast. I hiked the entire southern rim of the Grand Canyon and I paced myself from 80th Street at Central Park down to the tip of the Manhattan Island (and back!). And my dear friend Stephanie and I power walked most every inch between Torrey Pines and Mission Beach.

I never tired of my sneakers or my desire to move in them. I got lost in the adventure, in the scenic views, and in the beauty discovered in the most unexpected ways.

The spectacle of life is intriguing to observe from foot. Up close. On display is an authenticity of nature and of humanity. Real life coming into vision long enough for its nucleus to revealed.

At dawn many mornings, I ascended the steep cement steps that lead from the Carlsbad beach to the upper board walk. I even found motivation to walk from home to the Oceanside Pier when the mood struck me one sunny afternoon. On the way home, I watched my shadow grow long in the passage of space and time.

For this one ageless summer I simply walked. Lost in thought. More than anything else- healing. Mending the pieces of me that were shattered in my failed marriage, fractured by my departed dream, anguished in letting go, strained by financial wreckage, and then stunned by a lay off at work.

I was as quiet inside as I’ve ever known (seeing that, by nature, I’m notoriously boisterous and noisy!). Driven inside by a need to be in solitary motion… seeking nothing but a renewed love of life and a peace within.

II broke three sets of laces and wore down two pair of sneakers. I kept a journal of each excursion and every revelation. I confessed to my inner-being . Made right my perspective. Recalled the many gifts and joys that I’ve been given, opportunities granted. The family and friends graceful in their acceptance of my dubious sensibilities.

I took hold of the affection laying dormant in my heart.

Best of all, I remembered the reasons that I dream, and hunger, and strive. I walked until I found the passion that I once held for life, inspired most by remarkable boldness and rare experiences.

I will forever remember 2009 as the ultimate year of ‘sole’ searching.