As I trudge uphill, my thoughts focus on the summit. My muscles burn, my heart pumps, and I wonder how many more bends in the road are ahead. I curse the seemingly endless rocky hills. Once the summit is reached, I catch my breath and do my best to enjoy the view, though often I admittedly am more focused on the next goal – making it back to the car.
It takes a truly extraordinary moment to bring me back to the beauty of the moment – a family of deer traipsing through the brush, a waterfall crashing, or a perfectly illuminated redwood situated in a majestic grove. I’ve had many such moments in the past six months, since I started hiking more regularly. However, I often find the journey obstructed by constant thoughts of “what’s next” and “when does this path end?”
My own personal path has also taken several unexpected twists and turns over the past six months. A new chapter has begun, featuring a new leading man, a new home and the realization that it is time to redefine myself independent of a job title. I’ve chosen a different and more intimidating path, which I’m confident will provide new opportunities and an amazing view at the summit. I just need to trust the process and enjoy the journey ahead.
This is a major challenge for me – so I rely on inspiration from my favorite writers to keep my focus in perspective. Two weekends ago, we visited my sister and her family in Seattle, where we took an amazing hike at Wallace Falls State Park. A sign greets hikers at the beginning of the path: “Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher.” These words by the English romantic poet, William Wordsworth resonate strongly with me as I embark upon my next journey. It’s time to embrace the light where I stand… the summit will make itself clear soon enough.
Coming this summer… a trip to Mark Twain country (Elmira, NY) and a visit to the Rhode Island coast (literary connection still to be determined, suggestions welcome)