The past few weekends I have been taking long hikes and enjoying the gorgeous springtime weather where here in the mountains has included a little snow, lots of sunshine and breathtaking views. Yesterday’s hike along the Rocky Ridge Trail was mainly under the cover of the trees. The tall pines made me feel right at home from the moment I headed out on the trail. Being among nature is not always about conquering a mountain but occasionally about finding a place all to yourself, taking in all that is around you, and living in the moment.
It wasn’t until about half way into my 6.5-mile hike I had finally left the week and morning behind. I started to hear the voices of nature instead of those from meetings, conference calls, or the grocery store. There were woodpeckers off in the distance making their mark and tiny lizards scurrying across the trail as I walked by. The breeze among the trees felt refreshing and the sun shining through the trees provided just the right amount of warmth.
The hike was just under 1,000 ft in elevation change providing a steady climb to challenge my heart rate but then would level off and descend a bit offering a different landscape throughout the hike. The trail was uncluttered enough that I had the opportunity to practice my trail running too. About mid-point of the hike I found large boulders and a cave like area and it was so inviting that I decided to hang out there…. climbing on the boulders, snapping pics of the trees, writing, and just listening to all the sounds in the forest. About an hour later I had almost forgotten where I was but I knew I needed to start heading back. This mountain trail was an out an back with the light continuously changing as the sun moved west, magnifying around sunset. Where I had seen full sun on the hike in I was now seeing rich colors and shadows on the hike back – it was like hiking in a totally different place.
I love challenges and completing tasks but my time in nature is about nurturing my body. Hiking and walking among the trees and relaxing provides a natural stress relief for me. I believe removing ourselves from the day to day and finding a quiet place is often not far from where we are right now. A place to disconnect, maybe a walk, yoga, a run, meditation, fishing, camping, climbing, cooking... allows us to quiet our minds and hear our heart... if we listen close enough we will understand so much more about ourselves and what we need to be happy. If we are happy we will draw to us rewarding experiences and relationships.
Whether it’s the weekend or a weekday you probably have your to do list of responsibilities. Be sure that making time for yourself is also on that list. You will be happier and your life will look and feel so much better. Join the Journey and follow us @amile4everyyear.... and share your stories of life in nature!