I begin with the beauty all around me. I take a breathe & suddenly I am not just seeing the beauty but now I become apart of the beauty. Even though I continue to walk on this mountain hike I am no longer just walking. I am going deep inside myself & I feel my soul being refilled.
The physical effort that I need to exert is difficult. The air begins to get thinner as we move from 3,100 feet above sea level at the beginning of the hike to 4,800 feet above sea level at the end of the hike. But even as I try to catch my breath & my legs begin to ache, it's not the physical feelings that I feel. It is the peace & serenity all around me. I am amazed at the quiet. Occasionally we come across other hikers but for most of this 3 hour hike we have only each other & the quiet of the mountain. It's the quiet that amazes me & in the quiet I discover the quiet inside of me. I am no longer hiking in the mountains I am on a journey to reclaim the connection I have with my soul & in part with everything that is.
The sound of the water is constant along the trail & in fact there are times we walk through the water as it makes its way to the mountain stream. We can still see snow & as we make our way to the top there is more & more snow along the sides of the trail. The wind begins to get stronger & we feel it blowing at times along the path when there are no trees to block.
The path ahead becomes very difficult as it's now all rocks & because of all the rain & the melting of the snow the path is very slick. We pause when we need to, to allow our legs to rest & to again catch our breathe. Every time we pause I go deeper inside myself. I feel that I have known this mountain my whole life even though I've never been on this hike before. The connection to each tree, stream & rock brings me back to time long before I was born. I imagine what it was like to encounter this beautiful area for the first time. I hear the birds & their song moves me to places I haven't been in a long time. As we continue on I wonder why this connection is so deep within me. I also question whether I've missed an important part of my life by not working in nature. I set my intention to find a way as I get older to be able to at least volunteer at some of these beautiful treasures we call the National Parks.
At last we make it to the top. The wind is now blowing over 40mph & it is actually very cool. The temperature has continued to fall as we made our way up the mountain. The view from the top is wonderful although it's bit odd because of the lack of green. The Smoky's always have vast amounts of green but since spring has been a bit slow to come here most of the trees haven't even started to bud. So the rolling hills now below us are more brown then green but the view is spectacular!!
We stand at the edge for a while & just take in the beauty. The words are difficult for me to explain the feeling I get when I stand on top of a mountain. I have done many times & vistas ahead of me cause my heart to swell & eyes to tear up. Its been too long since I've been able to feel this feeling. Its been too long since I've seen a vista like this & its been too long since I've been so deeply connected with myself.
The serenity of this hike is amazing & journey back to my soul is always deeper in these natural settings then anything I can feel at home. I capture these moments to always remember them so even when the world keeps me from coming back to the mountains, I am able to close my eyes & come back in my mind. This process serves me well even when I'm under great stress. Like a favorite song the picture in my mind of this moment brings back to me all the joy I have at that particular moment. I will never forget the memories of this walk & I will return often even if it's just in my mind.
We begin the hike back down & the body is starting to remind me of my age & lack of exercise over the winter. I'll be sore for days but I don't mind, the hike was well worth the pain. I wish for each you to find your place of serenity & to visit it often. It is only through the discovery of our inner self that we can be a beacon of light in the world today. We each need to be willing to take the journey to our soul & to discover our connection with everything. May your day be filled with peace & love.
Quote of the day:"The serenity of nature calls me back to the true connection I have with my soul. Whatever opens your heart to this connection, take time for it today!"