One of my favorite things to do is to go hiking. Due to health reasons, I haven’t been able to hike much. This summer though, I felt like it was the right time to start hiking again, and I’ve been building up my stamina with one or two-mile hikes. At the end of my hike on Saturday, I sat there by the water, gazing at this view above. I really, really wanted to go up to the waterfall.
I had done the hike to the falls before a couple of years ago. At the time, I didn’t make it to the top because there was still snow on the ground. But to be honest, the snow had been a life saver— okay, maybe more like face saving because trying to keep up with my friend who was a fire fighter was nearly impossible, and the last half-mile was mostly vertical.
Did I really want to try a hike that I failed to complete, especially as I was just starting out again? And alone? But something told me that I could do this. I could make it up to the top. Even all alone. I had no idea how I could possibly do this. Then the thought came: “one step after another.”
So around nine in the morning, I decided to hike up to the waterfalls by myself. As there were many hikers out, I felt relatively safe. I kept telling myself, “Small steps. One after another.”
At one point, I reached a sign that said, Beyond this point, rescue teams would take longer. In smaller print, it said that people have gotten injured and died. Could I really do this? And should I? I was never one to take unnecessary risks on my life just for the fun of it. But that voice inside me told me again that I could do this.
The last quarter mile was the hardest of all. But I made it up to the top. It was gushing and majestic as veils of mist surrounded me, and I felt a quiet sense of personal accomplishment.
And you know what was surprising? I had put in less effort and received more. How about that? What if we really didn’t have to keep up with someone else’s pace? What if we could go at our own? Could we realize those dreams that seem so impossible to achieve right now?
As I came back down, you know what else came to mind? When I slowed down enough, I noticed that every stretch of my hike was stunning and beautiful, and I really didn’t need the waterfall to find beauty. I found it at the lake. I found it on the trail that meandered through a quiet meadow, and I even found it in the sound of the rushing creek as I went up. It was all around me.
Though we hear this all the time, no matter where you are personally in your life, whether you are just starting out or you are half-way there, I hope you find beauty and majesty.
Thoughts? Comments. Let me know.