Yesterday morning I once again trekked up the mountain (for the second time this week) as the sun was catching up with midday. The weather has been absolutely beautiful and welcoming to those who love being outdoors. It has been a rough winter. The weather has been mild but the winter in my life has been tumultuous this season. Mind, body and spirit have grown and expanded. Chapters to my past have been forced to close. New books have been written. It’s been quite a challenging experience. With each step up the mountain I recall the adventure.
Walking up the trails through the forest, naked from the draping of leaves, I see the changes arriving. Because of the mild winter, plants that would be birthing in a month have been showing signs through the soil. And, I am grateful for this introduction. I am living an inspiration through witnessing the evolution of this new season. I get giddy at the thought of warmth touching my unclothed shoulders.
The depth of solitude through winter is painful. I don’t like this season. I need sun, torridity, the ability to climb a mountain every morning without the fear of being found frozen up on a summit. I need restoration. I need to shed the extra insulation on my body. I need to find that muse that climbs with me every morning and allows my thoughts to surf through all of me. It is my time with God.
I don’t fear change anymore. I try to embrace it. I allow it to be the substance that moves me into a new adventure. This is why hiking is a passion. I must trust my intuition and let the forest guide me. This winter has been about letting the forest in me, which has been more like a crazy maze, teach me how to let go. This has been the third winter in North Carolina. I am learning to navigate the climate.
I once read somewhere that fear is the child of selfishness and ignorance. Winter creates a wickedly misbehaved child in me. And, the parents – Selfishness and Ignorance – are not welcomed into my world. There is a constant tug and war with letting go. Winter forces me to deal with issues that any other time in the year I ignore because I keep busy. I feel un-energized during this time. And, the expansion in me is not something I feel comfortable, literally with my body and mind.
There is rebirth. Spring is knocking. I am looking forward to the growth of nature and the loving changes in me. There is nothing like uncovering the layers of solitude and releasing it all to a new season. As Robin Williams says, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!”