Monthly Archives: March 2010
|03/29/2010||Posted by Jane under all posts, mind . body . spirit, recovery|
On a recent trip to the mountains, we woke up early and went for a hike behind our cabin. The air was cool and silent. Our dog, Annie, led the way. Her muscular body charged straight up the steep, rocky hillside without effort. For Frank and me, the charge was less direct. There was no trail.
We climbed one step at a time, carefully choosing where to place our feet….soil, leaves, rocks, or branches. We used saplings as tow ropes, of sorts, when we needed them. Frank hiked behind me in the most treacherous parts. Just as a man stands behind a woman on an escalator, in-case she should fall backward, he was behind me in-case I needed catching.
Out of breath, we finally reached a group of mossy boulders, perfect for a few minutes of rest and morning meditation. We sat together as the morning light scampered across the forest floor. Gratitude filled our pounding hearts. “It’s so quiet here,” I whispered.
Soon we began to recognize sounds that were only audible when we tuned into the silence. The rushing sound of full streams from the melting snow. A woodpecker in a nearby tree. A bloodhound in the distance. We became attuned to the rustling of leaves as Annie continued to scout, run, jump, and then pause, whiskers twitching, having her own moment in the morning light. We listened and we talked a little, but mostly we just sat and soaked up the gift of those precious moments.
Full and and ready for the day, we scooched off of the rocks and started back down the steep hillside. Frank was again downhill from me, extending his hand to help steady my descent. He has seen me lose my balance on rocks one time too many, and tenderly watches over me. He gently led me for the first few steps. He wore hiking boots, and his feet were more steady on rocks, supported by the boots. I wore tennis shoes, and was more comfortable on moist soil and leaves. Our paths diverged in order to each find the footing we needed. We each slipped a little, stumbled over rocks a little, and held onto trees for support.
We made our way down the hill, together, but each on our own path, at our own pace…taking care of ourselves. Each sensing what would best work for us, and how we could safely get to the bottom of the hill. Neither of us could predict, nor dictate the best route for the other. In the end, we both wound up at the same spot, safely at the bottom…just where we needed to be.
As I stood at the bottom and looked up the rocky hillside we’d just come down, I realized that our morning hike reminded me of our life journey. We can climb together, and bask in the sunshine when it’s time to rest, or celebrate, or find balance. We must certainly support and help each other. These things we can best accomplish if we each choose our own path.
“You know how to take care of yourself better than anyone else on this earth,” someone once told me. I didn’t really believe her when she said it, but with much searching and dedication to self-care, I’ve found this to be true. I can ask for advice, support, and ideas. In the end, I am solely responsible for my journey. It is up to me to employ my intelligence and intuition when I choose where I will place my next step, along the path to wholeness.