With summer here, I’ve been getting out into the local hills more often. A few years ago I was on the trails fall, winter, spring and summer; rain, snow, sleet and wind, but for one reason or another I slowed down. I became, of all horrors, a fair weather kind of hiker. Regardless, I am back glorying in the dirt between my sandaled toes, bear spray nestled in my fanny pack and compass reassuring me I am going the right way.
I hike best alone. A friend named it for me the other day, she said it was how I manifested my spirituality. I was telling her how I am most alive in the wood and, while at times a bit lost (I am, sad to say, directionally challenged), it is where I also feel the safest. I revel in the giant firs and towering cedars; the Cornus Canadensis and the damp loving salmon berries. I walk into my church usually full of soul wrenching circular thoughts and come out refreshed; assured that life is indeed meant to be lived: enjoyed to its fullest and met with eyes wide open. I have cried, laughed, shouted and, at least a few times in my healing process, thrown rocks and bashed fallen branches against stony outbreaks to release inner tension. I’ve had many a conversation with my long dead mother and a few never-to-be-heard ones with friends that I needed to falsely denigrate before coming to the truth behind the matter — my role in the offending issue. I’ve had shamanic experiences, moments of grace, confirmation of my interrelatedness and a sense of spirit in all I encounter. I come out of the woods with batteries recharged and the knowledge that I can, indeed, follow my inner promptings: pay heed to the leadership that emanates from my core.
So, in other words, I haven’t been writing as much as my focus has been elsewhere —a truly rewarding “elsewhere” but elsewhere just the same. Hopefully to get back to a more regular writing practice… soon.
Happy hiking or doing whatever you enjoy the most.