Nothing is better than enjoying an ice cold kombucha after a cool shower to wash off the gritty sweat and flying insect saliva after a long, sweltering hike.
Trisha, one of my Board & Brew tribe, and I decided that enduring the 90+ degree heat at home today wasn’t enough of a challenge, so we embarked on a dusty trek up Bell View Trail while the sun was still beating down hard. It’s about a four-mile hike round trip with some of the hills at a 27% grade. Trisha decided even that wasn’t enough, so she carried a 12-pound backpack.
Ascending some of the steapest climbs, I just kept looking at that flag in the distance whenever it was visible. When it wasn’t, I put my head down and concentrated on taking the next step up until I reached some level ground.
The prize at the end of this hike is an American flag perched atop Bell Peak, also known as Patriot Hill. I’m not sure if Chandler ever hiked this, but it’s hard to believe he didn’t. I could imagine him sprinting up the last hill to the flag. I didn’t sprint. I reached the top and turned around to video Trisha with her 12- pound backpack kicking that steep hill’s butt.
From the summit, we surveyed the 360-degree beautiful view. We sat down on the ground and talked about a lot of things. Chandler for one. It is good for my soul to be with someone who knew Chandler in a completely different context than I did. Even if we hadn’t talked about him, she knew him. And that’s comforting to me.
The way down was much easier, of course. Except for the frequent slips and slides due to the loose rocky path. If you get too cocky, too much in a hurry, you go down. On your butt. Fast. We found the likelihood of slipping was decreased if we stepped sideways.
We arrived back at our cars with a kinder sun fading from the sky. Our Patriot Hill adventure ended with a hug.
Now back at home sipping my fizzy kombucha, the word that comes to me is “journey.” A journey is long. It is unpredictable. It can be difficult. And it will be. It can be breathtakingly beautiful. And it will be.
Thank you, God, that I’m not alone on my journey. Help me keep my eyes always on you. And when I can’t see for the tears, help me keep putting one foot in front of the other until I reach level ground and gain clarity once again. Remind me to stop and enjoy the view. And that sometimes it’s better to go slow than fast. Amen.