Saturday, October 13, 2012

Take a Hike.....

I took a hike yesterday.  The weather was perfect, the trail was dry, the fall colors just starting to turn were amazing.  As I was hiking I was thinking about how much hiking and life have in common.

The trail starts with a walk around a beautiful open field.  The grass was so green, the sun was so bright, and the air was so crisp everything seems to be in high definition.  As the trail head dips into the woods I had to remove my sunglasses and that's what made me think how quickly life like hiking can plunge you into darkness.  There is an easy dip in the trail but then a major decent that twists just at the bottom before heading straight up.

Have you ever been carrying on in life when suddenly, you have to take off the sunglasses?  Everything seemed to be going along just fine, in the field, then the next thing you know you're headed straight down?  Sometimes it's just a dip, you flunked a bio test, got called into the bosses office.  Sometimes it's straight down, a death, a job loss, an illness.

The trail heads almost straight up then levels out before a bridge.  There's a lovely view, I had to put my sunglasses back on due to a break in the trees and I stopped for a moment thinking about my husband, my boys, my family both here and abroad.  The leaves are changing, the creek bed was almost dry, and the trail ahead continues to climb.

Even in the darkest times, life hands you a moment, a reprieve, a piece of level ground where you can stop for a moment and catch your breath. College, marriage, babies.  And then you continue to climb.

The trail snakes along a ledge above the little creek and really dips and twists in and out of darkness and light and there are times when you're really not sure if you've still on the trail.  It's more overgrown than the rest and the markers are not as often as in the beginning.

How many times in life have you been sure you were on the right path, only to look up and wonder where it went?  Did you miss a turn?  Was it clearly marked? Where are you? How did you get here? Should you keep going? It's times likes these that you wish you were not alone.

I finished the hike and my husband called and asked where I was.  Hiking, I said. Can I join you? That would be great.  After he arrived we took another trail, a more rocky one that has many twists and turns and dips. He held my arm and told when to watch my step - root, rock, deer poop.

I was thinking about how quiet my first hike was and how exciting because of the element of danger being out there all alone.  This was different, less quiet, but that was o.k. There was less danger too having someone there to share the risk, but also more responsibility with someone I love.

There are bigger ups and downs on this trial, it's the longest trial in the park.  There are also several places that level out where you have to put your sunglasses back on and stop to take a breath.  There are also some very very dark places where the honeysuckle and other brush are very overgrown and the trail markers are practically invisible.

Marriage is the longest trial on my journey.  I will soon be married longer than I lived at home.  It is most certainly has more twists and turns and dips then other paths that I have taken. But when it levels out it has been more glorious than I could have imagined.  Houses, vacations, babies, and the many many "firsts". 

I just keep thinking how much life is like a hike.  It's a beautiful fall day today.  I think we'll all go for a hike.  How 'bout you?

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