June 6, 2016
“I am not my body, but I love and appreciate the body I have.”
That’s one of my favorite New Stories in the Radical Forgiveness board game that I play often to help me shift my perspective from troubles to blessings.
This morning, that helped me ease into the tiredness and soreness my body felt. I still WANTED to walk, just needed to give myself time and stretching to match my desire with my body!
Just a half mile from our camp, beautifully flat and dry, by the way, was the summit of Hightop Mtn. Sunlight filtered through the stunted oaks and lit the ferns and fly poison flower stalks. Ahhh. Perfect spot to gently awaken my muscles.
I would have loved to have my friend, Liv Nam there to guide me in kundalini. I did my best on my own.
Gradually, my body relaxed and actually felt really good in a couple of hours and throughout the rest of the day, even til 6 p.m. when we stopped for the night on Hazeltop. The name gives away its pleasant nature. Blessed by a perfect western vista and grassy tentsite, the day ended in equal beauty to its beginning.
In truth, the beauty of the forest, unfolding mile after mile, pulls me along into each step. What keeps my focus is the diversity of each stretch of forest! There are different communities of trees, understory, and ground cover every mile or so. Fascinating! Here, it’s a newer forest, open and lush with tangles of cleavers and burdock carpeting the floor. Those are the locust and ash forests. There, among old oak and hickory, it’s shady, covered with decaying leaves, dotted with ferns and waterleaf.
I’ve written about five essentials to creating a fulfilling walk. Today, the first essential – knowing your trail- impressed me. “What I would say to AT dreamers about knowing
this trail”, I was saying to John as we walked, “is that it is ALWAYS going up or down a mountain. Always. To walk this trail, one needs to be content with climbing and descending mountains. There is no mythical flat section when one is finished going up and down.”
So, all day long I walk in my breathing and stepping pace, and never get tired. That feels good to me!
We saw a bear! Funny, though. It was about 10 a.m. while crossing the Skyline Drive at Swift Run Gap. “Look, its a raccoon,” I said, wstching the little animal with its high rump sort of limping across the road. “That’s a bear, a cub!”corrects John, as I notice it has no long tail. Sadly, it did seem to be limping, and struggled to find a way over the wall and guardrail, disappearing into the woods.
Treetop views, matching a redstart with its call, meeting boy scouts finishing their fifty-mile hike, and thanking a trail maintainer for his service threaded this day with its magic. Gratitude fills my soul AND my body!