Today we went for a walk. We live on a mountain and are fortuate enough to to have access to some pretty spectacular trails with some of the most amazing views in the world. Typically I like to venture out to the mountain park and wander off the trail a safe ways to breathe in the beauty and just take a moment to be grateful.
But today, wasn’t to be that day.
Now, when I left my house I had envisioned this nice leisurely stroll. I had no idea the journey ahead. I wore flat walking (ok winter…they were winter) boots. I carried no water or food. I should have known better as my hubby likes to get me out of the house and then sucker-punch me with a bout of physical activity that leaves me hobbling for days.
A ways down the trail we came to a fork in the road. Typically
we have ventured up the trail which leads to a nice lookout. A safe, fairly easy walk. But today, today we went down. Through a series of steep switchbacks we finally descended the mountain and found ourselves a beautiful little beach. I have been to this beach before, but never down the mountain from my house. I came at it the safe and easy way. For a moment I felt accomplished. I braved the mountain. Unfit footwear and all. And I felt pretty good about myself. And then I realized. I needed to go back up.
At that point, thoroughly exhausted I was mentally trying to think about all the ways I could somehow get home without having to climb back up the mountain. Maybe I could send the Mr up and I would walk the easy trail. He could come pick me up at the end?
No. No, I can do this.
At that point we saw an unfamiliar trail. Curiosity got the best of us. Secretly I hoped we had stumbled upon and easier “secret” route home up the mountain. It did, after all, start off with some very well polished and sturdy-looking stairs. We followed it for a while. But while the view was beautiful and we seemed to pass right through the homes of the rich and famous, something didn’t feel right. Yet, we continued to climb. There were signs everywhere. “Private Property”. “Stay on the trail”. All signs that said, “you don’t really belong here…move along”.
At one point we came to a point where the trail went straight back down as high as we had climbed but completely the opposite direction of where we knew we needed to go. I looked back up over the trees behind me and saw our home way up high over the mountain.
While at first it seemed that this may be a way to avoid the treacherous and difficult climb back, it quickly became clear…this wasn’t the way home.
We turned around and found ourselves back at the lake. Our detour cost us precious time and energy. My mouth was parched and my feet felt like they were wrapped in fire inside my winter/walking boots. A poor footwear choice, my hubby pointed out somewhere amidst the crumbling rocks. Now back at the lake, even MORE sure there was no way I could make it, and pretty sure I would need to be helicoptered out.
And yet. I couldn’t quit.
So, back along the path we started on. Easy at first, and humbling for sure. And we began our climb back up.
My heart was beating so hard I was sure it would going to leap out of my chest. And then, seeing my struggle, he reminded me, I’m not alone. And he offered to carry me. So I climbed onto the back of my knight in shining armour, feeling like I was a weight that would crush him too, and certain we would both die there on the mountain.
And on we went. And slowly but surely my hope was restored. My strength came back…and soon I could climb on my own feet again. And then on the trail we saw a familiar face. A friendly neighbour, (who coincidentally IS a helicopter pilot…I made a mental note to store his number in my phone in the event another such adventure may go astray in the future). This is our path. The familiar way home.
So, on we climbed. Until the path levelled out and the houses came into view. And we finally made it home. Tired, yet renewed, and slightly stronger than when we started.
And tonight. PanAway everything.