This past weekend some friends and I went for what turned out to be a somewhat rigorous hike through the Mt. Diablo trails. The incentive was waterfalls and with water (which we ran out of half way through), oranges (thank goodness for a blood sugar spike), and way too many layers of clothes (it was much cooler at sea level) we set out for a 3-hour journey.
Some members of our party were having a bit of a hard time and as I trekked ahead of the lagging pack, I heard one of them say, “These better be some amazing waterfalls.” I reminded him of the many other beautiful things to see along the trail and that only those who adventure up into those hills are able to enjoy them.
Eventually we found the “waterfalls,”which were really more like rushing brooks on rocks.
But they were still beautiful!
Then we then had a decision to make. We could loop around on the unknown terrain or double back on the way we came. An older man along the trail recommended the latter but we decided to keep moving forward and we were glad we did because it was the most peaceful and shaded part of the trip. Later we all collapsed, exhausted but fulfilled, and happy to have made the effort.
Hiking is funny like that. You set out on a dirt path with as much or as little as you can pack on your back in hopes of finding that one magnificent vista that will bring you joy forever. Sometimes you find it, and sometimes it’s just a few wild flowers but they are equally as beautiful and almost always worth the trip. When the trail gets rough, I embrace the challenge and remember all the small treasures I find along the way. I remind myself that it is only because I’m out there that I get to enjoy them in the first place.
Sounds a lot like life doesn’t it. Without embracing the journey, you miss out on all the good stuff. There are challenges you’ll face and obstacles along the path. You can never predict the weather, or the terrain, or if you’ll have enough resources, but you take the chance and travel on! Because deep down you know what is truly in store. And you trust that for every steep climb, there is a path that winds down and eventually you will find flat land. When you finish you can rest and will hopefully look back on the process with joy and gratitude for what you experienced.
I wish you all happy trails and hope you will always appreciate the process.