I woke this morning with a tug and an ache to be up on a mountain top. Got geared up (by this I mean put on my hiking boots…that’s as much gear as I can handle) and headed down the mountain and then up the Blue Ridge Parkway. Unfortunately, about 16 miles into the drive the gates were closed. The winter weather has impeded the continuation of great exploration and trailing. I detoured on the next exit and found an isolated trail on the side of the road. I believe all trails end somewhere, anywhere. That goes for roads, relationships and life. Not all trails are beautiful but they all have splendid uniqueness. I like my hikes to have a gratification spot at the end of the incline. I want to see a waterfall, a stream or a gorgeous mountain view. The idea of just hiking for the sake of walking does nothing for me.
So there I was alone in the forest pushing my butt up and up and up without a destination. A little tidbit about me: I have no sense of time or distance. What I think is 5 minutes is probably 25. When I say I’ve walked a mile, I can bet it is more like three. It doesn’t matter. Once I am exploring a trail I lose track of it all. I get out of my head. I begin to find hearts in nature and witness the canvas of Divinity staring from every direction. I feel like I can breathe especially after a cold winter season.
This hike was insane. The higher I climbed the less I saw. The clouds gathered in a canopy creating darkness and a chill that went through my coat. I was determine to find something, anything that could show me that I was going to have surprise at the end of the trail. I met a gentleman coming down with his dog. As I gasped for air I asked if I was near the top. He smiled, and pointed out that I was in fact at the top. He expressed distance in yards and timing, once again not a concept I follow very well. I was thankful to be pointed towards something.
I was so enthralled in climbing and getting to a final place of beauty that I missed the walk. I skipped the scenery. That’s how it is in life. We are so focused on the prize and goal that we forget to take in the journey. It wasn’t until I came down several hours later that I realized that the mountain scenery was right next to me throughout the entire trek.
I did make it to a gorgeous stream. It looked like something from Lord of the Rings. There were ruins of what was once a lodge that burnt down a hundred years ago. I was in heaven. There is a moment of euphoria that I enter when I make it to that spot that calls for me. Even when I don’t know the final place, my spirit knows I’ve had enough. My body feels ecstatic. I wish I could bottle it up and wear it whenever I need it without climbing to the top of a mountain or getting lost in the wilderness of the unknown.
I rarely have plans. I don’t follow a list of things to do, unless it is for work. Two of the things I live by are spontaneity and the law of serendipity. If something crosses my path and it calls for me I go out of my way to explore it. My curiosity is charged by trails in nature, a road less traveled, a path that draws the senses, and the simple ability to enter into an adventure.
May the next detour call out for you to explore. Be an adventurer in your own life. Throw out the plans for a little bit. Get out of routine and make the most of the road less traveled, a deviation on a dead end street, or just the ability to get lost for a little while. Sometimes you just have to let go of your parameters. You will be amazed at the gratitude and appreciation your spirit will obtain.