When we stroll through a redwood grove, our steps become gradual, knowing we are in good company. We don’t want to rush the experience, and we won’t hesitate to hug them with wide open arms, because, why not? They deserve reverence for their generosity. You see, in their company, we feel silk threads of peace flowing through our hearts and souls, centering us. Any worries burdening our minds before fall to the earth to be walked upon and buried. And we listen as their leaves whisper to us in the breeze, “Be filled with joy and do not fret, for there is no time for that nonsense.”
Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.
Some say backpacking is magical, and I’m one of those people. Backpacking for my husband has been his life’s passion, but I only expressed an interest five years ago when I was fifty-six. To this day, my interest in slipping a pack on my back and hitting the trail has not waned. Trees flanking the trails, butterflies floating from bloom to bloom, dragonflies buzzing above the shimmering water, the breeze bringing relief like a refreshing swim in the lake, and the morning light stretching over the horizon remind us that another glorious day has arrived – they’re all magic.
It is humble to carry essentials on my back. I’m not like Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in three months. I don’t own that level of bandwidth to wear the boots of a thru-hiker, whether on the PCT or on the Appalachian Trail. Nor do I have the desire to attempt a 60-mile trip like my husband has completed on several occasions. I’m a middle-aged woman who possesses a yearning to challenge myself in body, mind, and soul – to step out of my comfort zone and seek adventures to be experienced, even though I need to shed a few pounds.
I get tired at times my legs begin to tremble. I have literally met exhaustion face to face on a few of our hikes. And when I get hot, my face turns pomegranate red, a little embarrassing when greeting other hikers. Sweat trickles and forms in patches on my body that, yes, I’ll refrain from naming. And unfortunately, no shower stands behind the tent waiting to be utilized. And yet, I am pulled into the magic…
I’ve known several friends who didn’t get the chance to celebrate their fiftieth birthday. We all know tomorrow is not guaranteed. I always try to live my life to its fullest, but now even more so as I grow older. Maybe because I’m inching my way closer to the top of the ladder! So, I choose to explore this type of adventure that never appealed to me when I was younger. To live my life in the richest way possible.
I’m not a solo backpacker, but I admire those who are, especially women portraying strength, perseverance, and determination by setting out on their own. I find comfort in the security of going with my husband, knowing he holds the experience and knowledge of the trail. I do help pitch the tent and set up and clean up camp, so I don’t just sit around sipping wine while he does all the work. We make a good team. He’s also the one who calms me in the middle of the night when the snap of a twig causes my eyes to fly open. What was that? A bear? A human? The imagination can truly run wild! But I acknowledge this trait and try to allow his calm composure to flow into me.
As to my body, there are moments when my knees twinge or my hips groan from sleeping on nothing but a pad separating me from the ground! And the sleeping bag manages to twist me up at times, too. All magic. Every lens to the surrounding beauty, every chirp or snap, even each little ache or unexpected precipitation literally raining on our parade falls into the package of a life-changing alchemy. The welcome peace from the hustle and bustle of daily routines. The whispers of wind through the trees attempting to touch the vast sky. The breeze ruffling my bangs looking a bit wonky after taking off my hat. Getting outdoors, inhaling the fresh air, time to reflect. As I said before…magic for the mind, body, and soul.
So, given our bodies remain capable, my husband and I will continue on the backpacking trail one boot in front of the other, relishing the magic of it all.
Last weekend, after attending The Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel, CA (previous post), we drove the iconic 17-mile drive in Pebble Beach which was absolutely beautiful. Any view of the ocean is one where taking a zillion photos comes effortlessly. I didn’t take a zillion, but came close, so I’m including only a few here. I hope you enjoy part of Nature’s photo album.
And below is a poem I posted last year. Life is all about the beauty surrounding us, not giving those negative thoughts rent space, and breathing in the peace wherever you may find it…
Ever So Gently
Sometimes we get lost in our thoughts… losing focus of stars shimmering above us, the sky turning heavenly blue for our pleasure, raindrops falling for our essential cleansing. We tumble too deeply into the frontal lobe allowing negative thoughts to awaken, permitting them to throw a tantrum.
So we must remember the wind will carry worries and doubts across rivers and oceans, majestic trees will sway with joy, sheltering from shadows, and light will continue to shine, even if only a slight glimmer peeks through. Its glow will grow ever so gently into a bright beacon of hope rising with the golden sun bringing the most beautiful clarity to our vision.
My daughter took these photos in Tennessee and these murals are too amazing not to share. The artists are most likely local, so we do not take credit. In fact, we applaud them not only for their talent, but for the timely messages. Don’t you agreethe world needs a great deal more of Peace, Love, and Sunflowers?
What a year this has been…so traumatic and devastating for many because of the loss they have endured, and for the rest of us, it has been a time where new normals could not be avoided – different ways of going about our everyday lives simply had to be implemented. For the west coast, fire season has come and gone, and gratefully, our first family of raindrops has arrived. Mother Earth smiles and sighs with relief.
Autumn officially presents herself and brings a cozy, warm complexion of spicy nutmegs, pumpkin oranges, burnt squash yellows, and pomegranate reds. Can we break away from the rat race even for a moment and remember to inhale, then exhale, s-l-o-w-l-y? Do you think we can relax the pace and capture the magic around us that we would normally let pass by?
Maybe in that moment as the landscape shifts, we will feel gratitude for the gift of another day and the possibilities in a new year that are so close we can almost touch them ever so gently.
We’ve all heard it before, “Be true to yourself.” But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Tossing the mask doesn’t happen effortlessly. If we’re to truly be ourselves, we risk being rejected, bullied, and judged. Yet if we remain in that box, what kind of life is that to live? How can we feel completely free?
Somehow, it takes mustering up confidence, and usually, it takes more than a handful.
When I think of people living in a shell for fear of showing their true identities, it breaks my heart. Society has become more accepting, and yet, haters still exist. In a way, they’ve become more pronounced.
It’s a long-shot, but I keep that dream alive of living in a society, a country, and even a world where the motto is “live and let live.” If some aspect of someone’s persona rubs you the wrong way, then walk in the opposite direction. If they’re turning left, then you turn right. LEAVE THEM ALONE AND LET THEM LIVE THEIR LIFE. It’s such a simple solution that remains difficult nowadays. Violence tends to worm its way into many scenarios. Haven’t we seen enough bloodshed?
If we allow Compassion, Acceptance, and Love, and even more Love, Love, Love to embody who we are as a human race, Peace would play a bigger part. And wouldn’t that be awesome?!!
So while everyone should be able to show their true colors no matter who they are, others should play their part fairly, too. It’s a two-way road that takes courage and confidence in one lane and acceptance and understanding in the other. We can’t please everyone, but we can please ourselves. Loving ourselves comes first before we can honestly and completely love another.
I’ll end by saying, “Let’s try to shed our doubts, be who we truly are, and practice more self-love. Then maybe, just maybe, the world will be a better place for All.
Sending virtual love and hugs, and wishing you a fabulous weekend. I’ll be off the grid for a while again, but will catch up in a week or so. ❤❤❤