As long as I can remember, when asked, the mountains or the shore there was never any doubt in my mind. I understood the ocean and it seemed to understand me. One moment peaceful and calm, in and out, gently rolling, building momentum, and just like that a wave comes crashing down, forceful and courageous. Bringing with it a power that could life you and toss you without warning. As you struggle to regain your footing and catch your breath, the sea stops churning and becomes silent once again. You are left with the mist on your sun-tanned skin and scent of salt air that refreshes and delights shaking loose the fear that consumed you moments earlier. The mountains, they were just rocks.
It started off simple, a quick hike up a friendly mountain nestled within a city with a childhood friend. A trek to get our hearts racing and watch the sunset. The reward was a spectacular display of color settling on the giant cacti and burning bushes and majestic mountain ranges in the distance. Pink, purple, orange, yellow and blue skies that mesmerized and hypnotized. In the quiet stillness I began to feel the stirring within.
Through the years, the hikes became more frequent, some longer and more difficult than others. The more I hiked, the greater the need to hike. It doesn’t matter where or when, the in the heat of the desert, in the dawn of the morning, at the setting of the sun, under the moonlight, in the middle of the day, to a waterfall, through a forest, to the very top of the mountain where I feel like I can touch the clouds. At some point, I’m not sure exactly I began to notice random hearts along the trail. Now I seem them everywhere and often.
I am different when I am on that mountain. There is a lightness in my demeanor. The ugliness of the world can not hold its grip on me as I climb. Any sorrow or anger or frustration that comes to the mountain with me, quickly falls wayside as I climb higher and higher. My spiritual senses are heightened, I can hear and feel things I am sometimes too cluttered to feel on the ground. I am open to let the words wash over me and scoop me up and lead me to somewhere magical. Here I am Lord. I am yours.
This past year, my hiking has risen to a whole new level. I have found a community of like minded individuals who understand this feeling completely. Words are not always necessary as we follow along the path together in the light, in the darkness. I put my trust in my friends and they in me that together we will rise and together we will descend. We will share moments that can not be put into words, although I try, I really try. A connection so deep that sometimes it is hard to comprehend and at first was a little frightening. How could I care so deeply about and feel so connected to someone I just met? But it is not for me to explain or understand, it just is. Maybe when we are all together and we open ourselves up so completely and so vulnerably to understand ourselves, our souls meet up and connect. Whatever it is, I am blessed and beyond grateful. And now when asked the shore or the mountains – I choose the mountains…
I am a child of the sky. I am a hiker. I am where I belong. Namaste.