I have to say, this was an amazing day. It started out with my concerns over what I am facing and decisions I will have to be making, to deciding that rather than allow worries to drown me, I would get on top of them, literally.
I got in from buying the weekly groceries, and after putting everything away made a snap decision. I called Molly inside, and then grabbed Bella’s leash and harness. We were going back to Crowder’s Mountain State Park. Bella was all for it and so was I. Making sure I had everything I needed, we loaded up and set off. The drive there is short and we made it with no issues. I love these weekday adventures because there are no problems finding parking. Bella was ready to go before I had the engine turned off.
As we headed up the trail muscles that realized where we were began to scream in protest. For a while I actually wasn’t sure I was going to make it but I soldiered on and soon those muscles gave up their protest and the hike up began to get easier. As we rounded a curve in the trail I noticed an odd spot in the trail. Someone had found a set of dropped keys, they placed the keys on top of a large rock, cleared a square in the trail and using sticks created an arrow pointing toward the rock. Knowing someone who works there I sent them a message saying that if they saw someone in a panic over lost keys they were on a rock part way up the trail. There was an emergency marker near them but the numbers were illegible.
I was doing my best to follow my speak to everyone goal that I have given myself on the last trip and was doing well. While most of the time it was the same quick greetings and acknowledgements there was two actual conversations.
For those who have never hiked the mountain, there is a set of over three hundred stairs on the trail I use going up.
Bella and as passed a couple of young girls sitting quietly near the base of the stairs, they smiled as we passed but did not speak. There was a gentleman sitting not too far from them so I thought they may be together. As Bella and I made our way up, we met a lady coming down. She stopped directly in front of me and asked if I had seen any car keys. I smiled and told her exactly where I had saw her keys. You could see the relief in her tired face. From what she then told me, she had been searching everywhere, her children had gotten too tired to keep looking. We talked briefly as I made sure she understood what I was telling her about how to find her keys. I did say too, that in case they were not there to check with the lost and found at the bottom of the hill. I watched as she hurried as best one could who was tired and moving down steps that are different levels.
Bella and I then continued our journey upward. We always move out of the way when we meet folks coming down. Not because I worry about Bella, but because the steps are narrow and its difficult for passing. At one point this man who looked to be about the same age as my son and the lady with him stopped just past where Bella and I stood. He asked if she was a German Shepherd. I told him that she was a German Shepherd mix. He told me he was wondering about them as there was a puppy at the shelter that looked to be Shepherd and he wondered what type dog they were. We then got into a conversation about how they are wonderful dogs, but very high energy to go along with the high intelligence. It was an amazing conversation, he asked questions, and he listened to my answers. The lady with him wasn’t saying much, but she was listening. I was glad that he took time to ask. It shows a level of maturity and wanting to make the right decision, not just for them, but for the puppy as well.
Once at the top of the mountain I gave Bella her water and while she drank I took in the view. Looking out over the landscape, the worries I had, seemed very trivial. I am healthy, I’m no spring chicken by any means, but I just hiked up a mountain. Granted my muscles, heart and lungs got a very good workout, but I was standing on top of the mountain. Being healthy means that physically I can handle what ever comes at me. Muscles may complain, but they are ready to take it on and come out on top.
Even when my muscles screamed and I felt that I needed to just give up, I didn’t. I kept putting one foot in front of the other until I had worked the soreness out enough and the pain eased. I was determined, and I made it. To me that shows that when even my own mind wants to quit, a spirit of determination won. We stood on top of the mountain.
Normally I am quiet. I tend to sit back and watch more than speak. My son has been telling me I need to get out and talk to people. Today, I carried on not one but two conversations. Intelligent, give and take conversations that were more than ‘hey, how are you?’ Today I talked and walked away knowing that I can converse with others and not embarrass myself.
Today, I set out with the weight of worry on my shoulders, then I hiked a mountain. I stood on a rock on top and looked out across the world. Week days mean it isn’t crowded, I could have stood there longer, but there was no need. Climbing down, Bella and I made our way to the trail going back down the mountain. I left the weight of worry on that rock, from that viewpoint, it seemed very small.
Bella knows the way, she was ready to go home. It takes longer to walk down than up as the trail, which is actually a road for the rangers, winds back and forth among the trees. We walked slowly, Bella isn’t as young as she once was either and I don’t want to push her. We enjoyed the scenery, she checked out every scent, and we greeted a few folks we passed along the way. By the time we reached the car, we were both feeling the hike. Still, my steps were lighter, my mind easier. Everything will work out as it is meant. I know that. The Lord has provided for me before, He won’t abandon me now.