Found this the other day and it made me stop and think for a moment. Yesterday I woke to a sunny day and decided to go to Turkey Run for the third weekend in a row. As I was driving through the Indiana countryside this once again popped into my head. I’ve been thinking that I need to get away to take a trip, but as I’m driving I think of what a ridiculous idea that is, when where I am is so right. Indiana is perfection right. Yesterday was sunny, but just cool enough, for the perfect temperature. It was green everywhere I looked, plus the blossoming trees added sparks of purples and whites. As I was hiking wild flowers blossomed in purples and whites as well, but this week there were added red ones. As I drove, listening and belting out my Celine Dion, I thought that happiness is right here where I am and it’s like the Thoreau quote that I frequently remind myself of:
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see
When I looked around yesterday, it seriously took my breath away. Driving, I decided that I was going to try to find Shade’s State Park. I didn’t have a map and refused to use the navigation on my phone, so needless to say I was lost. I notice that usual anxious feelings would come creeping up, but I would again remind myself of another Thoreau quote:
Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves
Ah, inspiration restored. Whatever a wonderful opportunity for me to
find myself. So I brush off the worry, again crank up my radio and sing at the top of my lungs down gravel roads, past rural farms houses with their laundry hanging from house to barn on clothes lines. Love, I was in love with being lost. It was so peaceful and serene, utter bliss. Needless to say, I did not find Shade’s State Park, and find myself at Turkey Run. Taking it as a sign and my true destination I don’t fight it.
My friend Shadow calls: what are you doing? Hiking? Why are you hiking, come shopping, I’m going to have to come find you in Parke County. Well, I shake off the lack of confidence in my survival abilities, but still ponder on the why hike part? Why do I hike? As I begin on trail 4, the thoughts just streaming in. I hike because:
It puts life into perspective and things that seem so important at work are minor details
It keeps potential stress and drama at bay, so that I am calm and level-headed
I’m practicing Mindful Walking
Nature is humbling, again it makes things seem silly in comparison to its magnificence and I stumble around in awe (like I did last week)
To reconnect with myself and evaluate how I feel and what I think, without the influence of anyone else
There are no pressures or judgements in the Woods
I am happy there
I am most inspired there and often write my best work after a day in the Woods
After awhile I stop at a rock formation overlooking the river. I lay and lazily watch kayaker and people on canoes paddling by, listen to the birds and watch the people around me. I allow myself to feel the sun beating down, and for half and hour I lay in complete bliss on this rock. Meditating and reflective, for some reason Thoreau comes to my mind over and over again:
There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.
We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads
After a day of hiking I realized that I often, especially at work am focused on my physical self. But I also know that I need balance. To nourish my spiritual self, I need to hike. To be in nature and be restored. Once my friend Tab told me that life is not simple or easy. I told her: It’s alright I’ll hike tomorrow and things will be fine. You know what? They were.
Go for a hike, get lost, find yourself, and realize that where you are is heaven and happiness!
BE, Love, Illuminate,
- The World through Heart-Shaped Glasses (bepaulin.wordpress.com)
- Living in Awe (bepaulin.wordpress.com)