When I go on hikes, I have a lot of things that go through my mind. It is generally a healing feeling, but I also feel a metaphorical, or step by step journey while I’m walking alone.
As I start my hike, I’m usually a little slow, looking at everything, soaking in the feeling of the sweat forming on my back under my butt bag (sometimes my backpack, or camera bag), my breath slowly increasing, and the dull thud thud of my heart pressing against my camera strap as it wiggles its way into the crook of my neck until it is comfortable.
About 10 or so minutes into the walk, my mind starts to spin, think, play events of my life over, and tickle the open wounds of regret. It is in these small stinging moments that I also narrate my walk in my mind.
When I come to a trail that’s kind of a switch back, I think of how life can move back and forth on its way through life. When I see a bent branch on a tree that hasn’t broken, I think about how it is still a tree, still beautiful, but like life, it doesn’t look like the trees children draw deep into adulthood. When there’s a covered section of the trail, thick leaves, and heavy branches bowing over head, keeping the sun at bay, I think of the path we’ve all taken, and the friends that have protected us from difficult times.
On my way down the trail, coming back, after I sent a video to someone I admire, I paused, took in the feeling of making it up the trail, and slowly walked back down from where I had came. I thought a lot about the miles they had walked alone, the tears they had let flow along the trail, conversations they’ve had with them self, and the strength they found through breathing in natures gifts.
I slowed my pace to barely more than a crawl, you could call it a crawl, because I got on my knees, lowered my view of some weeds, branches, and grass to take a more interesting image. While kneeling, more than once, some painfully excited red ants (bout the size of two grains of rice) let me know instantly that I was kneeling too close to their house. I jumped around, brushed them off, ouched, and ooched, apologized, and moved along the trail.
I hope everyone in my life, presently, past, or future knows that even when I’m not showing outwardly enough, I’m forever grateful you’ve crossed my path. Many, I hope stay in my life some how or another, in some way or another.