Hiking in the woods.
It’s something I do.
It’s something I love.
It might be hard-wired into my DNA because walking in the woods, or just being outside, has always been a constant in my life as both a child and as an adult. It’s kind of like food – my body needs it or I get weak without it.
Recently, I had a great day hiking – well, truthfully, I’ve never had a bad day hiking – but a few weeks ago I had to force myself to get out and go to our local mountain so it was GOOD that I did it.
I chose a path that I’ve used many times, so I could just think and breathe and relax and not have to worry about the color of the paint markers on the trees. Heaven knows I was not in the mood for a barely blazed trail with only its plastic flags, and a leaf-covered and barely-trodden path. I really needed a no-brainer day to clear my cluttered mind because it was in chaos.
I had my ipod along for some music – that day the mood was James Taylor, Carole King, and some Carly Simon. I knew when I got down the path to my favorite area, there would be a rock edge to sit on and time to write down some thoughts – and that’s what I was really in the mood for that day. Sitting on a rock and writing.
The wind blew cold and pretty strong, but thankfully the sun was out because I was in need of its rays. I was bundled up, with a scarf and gloves and I looked in the back of the truck and realized I left my rugged hiking boots at home. No big deal – I knew the path was well-worn and pretty smooth in most places – so I used the hiking shoes. It wasn’t like I was going to turn around and go home, ya know?
By the time I got to the bluff I couldn’t write down fast enough all the things I noticed on my way in.
1st – Someone closed the bathrooms … Re-direct to a different parking area
2nd – I had to trek along the blue trail to get to my white trail
3rd – This meant, I would be going the opposite direction on the white trail
4th – Hey, wow, the paint on this side of the trees is REALLY bright
5th – Hey, it gets really muddy up here in spots!
6th – How about those secondary paths around the mud? That’s convenient!
Re-directed, over and over…that’s what the day felt like. Even when I had started the drive, I was reminded that I would have to take a kid to the University in order to use the car. And at the base of the mountain, I realized I forgot to drop by the church to leave some papers there.
It was just one of those days …
Redirection is like change. It can be irritating, or it can make you notice aspects of the trail that you would normally tune out. It can make you more aware of what you normally do not see.
This day of hiking and re-direction was not lost on me. I spend too much time lost in the everyday stuff which can get mundane. It causes me to lose focus or my ability to notice wonderful things.
Two days later I was enjoying a really warm day that stood in stark contrast to the day I went hiking. It finally reached 70 degrees. I was again, very aware of what I normally do not see… It’s been a long winter! I welcomed the warmth!