"There's something beautiful in the simplicity of a natural path..."
I decided that I needed to get out into the woods yesterday. The sun was shining, birds were singing, and yet I couldn't escape this ominous cloud in my mind. It had gotten to the point where focus seemed nearly impossible, so before I snapped, I headed out to the mountains. Probably the best/healthiest decision I had made all week:)
The humid, southern-summer air was thick and heavy, and I had 2.5 miles (mostly up with a couple of switch-backs towards the end) to the ridge. My goal was fairly simple: empty my mind, breathe-in the woods, be in the here and now, & get to the that epic view at the top! After I had gotten about 50 feet into the woods, I realized that this path was not the same that I had traveled in late winter/early spring. This patch of woods had turned into JUNGLE with the humidity to match!!
I quickly realized how long I had been away from my usual walks-in-the-woods. I hadn't experienced fear like this in ages! It was no where near crippling, but that it was present regardless, was almost shameful. The path was interestingly tough to make out at times, and it was hard to know where to place your feet. So I got to deal with 'trust' & 'movement' in the same breath. A good portion of the hike up was more like a "battle" of sorts. I was hashing through my mental garbage and making headway, while new fears and thoughts were trying to usurp the newly emptied rooms in my mind.
Around 1 mile in, it hit me that this hike was made even more challenging by the lack of vision up ahead. The trail was overgrown with only deer paths to follow at times, and there was no clear sight of the ridge up top...No clear picture of a goal, and distractions all over the path...this was now a challenge, and I want to say it was probably my first smile of the day. This whole experience, before I even began it, seemed set up to be a metaphoric lesson...so I smiled and moved on.
This hike was working more muscles than I had intended to use; however, dripping with sweat, i made the ridge and it was SOOOOO worth it!! I realized that clear vision isn't necessary for completing a task, but damn if it doesn't help:) I don't know, the picture that I saw was one of "Here's what you missing when you're not in the present because you're so busy sabotaging your path with distractions and fears" You miss "The Rush" of accomplishment, "The Beauty" that's always in the moment, and "The Magic" that exists all around us in this game of life.
I also got to see a bear cub, and that alone made the trip worthwhile:) There's something interesting about the timing and placement of events. For instance: on the way up the mountain I would go through spurts of slower paces and PUSHING until I HAD to stop...I think it's just the synchronicity of events that makes me smile and wonder...