Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Quotable Bestie: "The Unencumbered Woman sure gets around."

 Yup!  Last week's trip to Colorado was no exception.  Once at the lovely elevation of 4900 feet, I was energized by the clean, dry air, the slower pace of my hosts' town, and, generally, the lack of any agenda beyond spending time with friends, sleeping, eating great food, crafting, reading and exercising.  I may get around, but I'm sort of easy to please.  Although it had been raining earlier in the week, Fort Collins served up some amazing Autumn weather which made the cashing in of my Southwest voucher worth it! 

In this episode of Unencumber-ment, I'd like to highlight the benefits of hiking up a hill.  Friends in Chicagoland would call this a mountain.  If my friends in Colorado hear me call this a mountain, they slap me, (or at least stiff me a smoothie in the AM).  Thousand foot climb?  Hill. Period.  One day I'll climb a real mountain in Colorado, but today I was huffing and puffing all the way, what with the effects of altitude combined with the incline necessary to achieve this summit of this winding trail. 
For our climbing friends?  this and many others await…I stuck to the trail.

Aside from the obvious health benefits of climbing a hill/trail, I'm so often reminded of the power of a shifting perspective for our soul and mind.  As we climb, our bodies adjust, just as all of our senses adapt to the changing environment.  Wherever we go, being able to look forward at a peak that we're climbing, looking back at a trail as it winds itself down below us affords a puzzle for our mind to work.  Even shifting from hot sun to cool shade allows us to momentarily adjust and adapt.  These skills we can hone in any surrounding, but for me the fresh-ness of an ascent reminded me of the joy of being able to look out over a valley at the summit of our walk.
looking for rattlers
Early in our hike, a person with about three kids tagging behind him hollered out to us, "Look out! Somebody saw rattlers out sunning themselves on top and they're likely to be mad this time of year!"  We thanked him for his advise, but as we trudged on I couldn't help but wonder if he was stirring a pot a little more than necessary.  I wondered if there was a simpler, calmer way to communicate that he had heard that someone had seen a rattler.  I proudly boasted that the only rattler I ever saw in the wild was in Los Angeles! You can read about it in a five years old blog post!  I guess he reminded me of people who start rattling the cage around here about a wave of thefts or something.  It just seems that there are some people who like running around talking about imminent threat, I also wondered if he would have had that edge of admonishment if we weren't two women with kids and a dog in tow.  I guess I'll never know, but, I'm always trying to find a reasonable way to alert someone to be cautious. Maybe, *if one of those kids or that pup gets attacked by a rattler, do you know what to do?*  Oh, sheez, I dunno.
Near the summit, looking across vast forestland and hills

  That said, I'm happy that I didn't meet up with a rattle snake, and I was truly awed by the clarity of the air and the vast sky and even the flat Colorado/Wyoming plain spread out beneath us.  But mostly, I was thinking how I wished there was a way that I could merge all of my lives and take my family on this hike every Saturday.  It seemed, at that moment, a perfect solution to the disconnect and harried and often interior life that we live here, on the grid.  But then, I went back to gratitude.  Gratitude that I can do this at all.  Gratitude that I found a way to make things like this work, so that I can have the positivity left to do the other things that I'm trying to do.  So grateful for friends and family that love me as I am. And of course, grateful for sun, and the most beautiful season, Autumn.

The Unencumbered Woman does it again. 

No comments:

Post a Comment