Life happens. If we open our minds and follow our hearts we will allow synchronicity to occur for us and lead us to people, places and experiences we might not have imagined ourselves in as our adult lives began.
In recent months, through a series of my own synchronicities, I have heard the trail calling me. The trail meaning any trail I choose to hike. I approached it with cautious baby steps at first but now I enter it with confident great strides. I belong there. It welcomes me, embraces me and shows me it’s true beauty each time I visit. It’s a necessity for me now. For inner peace, for inspiration and for exercise.
I hiked my favorite trail today. Blue to red to blue to orange to blue. The woods were wet from the heavy rains we had last night and I could smell the earth. There was no humidity or bugs, a plus. My eyes are always scanning the scenery as I hike along looking for anything I haven’t seen in a previous hike. Although I know my landmarks, it always looks different to me. I haven’t seen any deer in the last three hikes I’ve taken but today I saw five! For as hard as I look for them, poof all of a sudden they just appear as if something is pointing my head right in their direction. They stand still as we make eye contact. If the breeze blows their way, I can see their nose lifting slightly into the air and I know they have inhaled my scent. I stand there for as long as they’ll tolerate it without them getting spooked and running off. I whisper to them. I tell them how beautiful they are and that I promise I will never shoot them. I thank them for visiting with me and when they finally run off, I continue on.
My husband and I have future hikes on different trails planned. These hikes are baby steps leading to great strides and longer distance hiking. We have a pretty cool date scheduled for 7PM on September 9, 2016, We will visit our local sporting good store to attend a class entitled “Planning Your Appalachian Trail Hike”. Yes I said it. The Appalachian Trail. It’s calling me and I can’t ignore it. I won’t ignore it. Our plan is to hike the 41 mile Maryland Section of the Appalachian Trail over four days in the fall of 2020 after we’ve both turned 50. I’d love to as my brother says “check out and hike the entire trail” but I know now is not the time for that. Why hike the Maryland section in 2020 and not now? Because our second child, our daughter will be a freshman in college and she says she’s “so going away to school”. Our son will have graduated college that spring. We’ll be empty nesters who won’t be committed to a high school marching band season for the first time in eight years. We’ll be 50. It will be our time to redefine who we are in a new phase of life and give something back to ourselves. Why not strip technology and comforts away for a few days in the wilderness to do that?
Four years seems like a long time but it really isn’t. My daughter’s time in high school will fly by probably faster than my son’s did. There’s much to learn and much hiking to do to prepare our bodies for a long distance hike like that. One thing is for sure: Each hike I take is one step closer to the Appalachian Trail.