Navigating the Trail

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This morning’s Daily Calm meditation was about approaching the day with a sense of wonder. My guide reminded me that when we are children we are amazed at the world and all it’s wonders. We are learning. As I’ve become an adult, it’s much easier to approach the world with a “to do” list or a longing to be distracted. Yesterday, I had decided I would stay home. I had planned to go hiking, but the thought of driving for several hours didn’t appeal to me. I thought I would stay home, cook some biscotti and clean my house. Maybe I’d just rest.

I tried to read my Artist’s Way chapter, and I was distracted. I couldn’t get my head to focus on the words. I didn’t feel motivated to take time to meditate. I kept thinking of hiking. I finally realized that it is May! The wildflowers are out. How could I miss my first Michigan wildflower hike? In about 15 minutes, I was packed up and headed out the door with Ashok happily in tow.

I actually enjoyed the drive. I stopped at my favorite coffee shop in Saugatuck and got a honey lavender latte. The day was sunny, and I turned up Tim McGraw’s beautiful voice. It was sunny, and I was on an adventure. I even got lost which extended my drive but didn’t spoil my mood.

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When I arrived at the trail, it was even more beautiful than I thought it would be. Green was literally exploding all around me. Purple, yellow, pink and white flowers littered my path. The sunshine dappled itself through the trees, and my mind was able to rest. I saw several hawks throughout the day. I tried to focus on the trail and was rewarded with a peace that grounded me. I thanked God for urging me to get out. I would have been devastated to miss that beautiful day in the forest.

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The nice thing about having four seasons is that things are always changing. They are always changing in nature anyway, but the change is so obvious as the trees drop their leaves, go dormant and then burst into life again. The bugs were out. It’s been awhile. I wasn’t particularly happy to see them, but I know they were happy to see me! And Ashok was so happy to be able to eat greenery and wade in the ponds and puddles. The changes in the seasons keep me in wonder.

Life always changes like the seasons. Rather than approach the day dreading the changes and the ups and downs, it would be great to approach it with wonder. Could I look at today’s challenges with wonder at how I might approach them? What if I saw an obstacle as an opportunity to learn? What if I saw growth in myself – or regression – with the same wonder that I have for the trees reaction to the seasons? Would seeing the world with wonder change my experience of the day?

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I think I’ll try to cultivate a sense of wonder for today. I’ll look for wildflowers – little bits of beauty that litter my path. I’ll navigate mud puddles knowing that my hiking boots are water resistant (and mud won’t kill me anyway). I’ll appreciate the newness of change and mourn the loss of the old. I’ll swat the bugs or just shoo them away. I’ll adapt to the temperature and try to focus on the trail with a knowing that a day like this will never present itself again. Today – like each day – is one-of-a-kind. With a sense of wonder, I’ll let the trail lead me where it wants to take me.

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