I’ve been hiking up a long trail for awhile now. I thought it was going to be a short little hike with others but in fact it turns out the journey has been mine to take. As it happens, with long journeys, some days have left me weary. Other days, I have happened upon unspeakable beauty. I’ve been to hungry, lonesome, and discouraged. Also, energized, mission driven and walking in faith.
The other day, after many many footsteps down this wandering trail, I came over a hill. I expected to see more trail ahead. I wasn’t sure how long this hike would be, but I was trudging along anyway. Instead of more trail, I came to a meadow. Fresh, green, with little daises smiling hello amidst the waving grasses. As I crested the hill and caught sight of this meadow, it felt like an invitation to rest as the sun broke from the clouds. Rays of light shone through, as if directing me to just this place and just this time. A warm breeze whispered in my ears, tousling my hair, as if to say “Come. Rest here. In this place”. So I followed the wisdom of the wind, the grace of the sunlight and the openness of the meadow.
Lying down in the tall green grass, my head nestled in this cradle of earth love, I rested. I sat my backpack down and took a deep breath in, allowing with reverence the beauty of this place at this time. I don’t know how long I stayed there. It might have been minutes or days. And it doesn’t really matter. What matters is eventually, after a long time awareness came to visit me. Awareness of the gift of this moment, the wisdom of nature, and an appreciation for this journey. If I had just happened upon this meadow after a few steps, it wouldn’t have had the meaning that it did. If I hadn’t been ready to truly see it, it could have been just another place to pass by on the trip.
I realized something that day. This hike that I had been on for so long, I could stop if I wanted it too. It’s not that the meadow was the destination, it was that the meadow reminded me that I don’t really need to go anywhere anymore. I wasn’t the same person as when the journey started. And now, my interest is not getting somewhere, it is being here. Now. And since I am here, I think I’ll look around and enjoy it.
What a hike. I am so grateful for it. And now I’m choosing to soak up the sun and listen what the wind has to say.