I hike with my head down.
This sounds insane, I know. I’m surrounded by trees and mountains and wildlife. Yet I keep my head down. I do this for a reason, if you can believe it. I do it because I am not focused on what is around me or where I am at any given moment, I am focused on the path beneath my feet.
I rarely hike the same trail twice. If I do it is out of some kind of sentimentality, or simply because it’s a pretty workout. I like to do new trails because I like the thrill of following one trail to some unknown destination. I like the novelty of everything; I like giving up control. I like being able to just walk, and trust that the place that I am going is where I want to be. Furthermore, the place that I am at now is exactly where I need to be.
Life gets so complicated because we are constantly forced to make so many decisions. In many ways we are forced to feel as if we can control our path, and we feel like failures when we come to realize that we can’t. The freedom and sanctuary that I find on a hiking trip or a backpacking trip is that of giving up control and absorbing the inherent beauty of being present. It is a more natural state for the human mind. It allows me to feel more confident, in myself and in my life.
I have been working to apply this notion to my life. To let go of that which is not mine to control. I have been working to make the most of the present, instead of constantly asking myself, “how does this present feed my future?” I have been so much happier this way, even just being able to take notice of my present instead of trying to forge a path that may not be natural for me.
[Pick the flower that tickles your ankle, don’t hold out for a better one]
Live life like it is one big hiking trip. One you have never done before. Examine the terrain beneath your feet. Kick the gravel and see where it ends up. Pick the flower that tickles your ankle, don’t hold out for a better one. Understand that where you are and what you see right now is completely new to you. Every step you take is a lesson learned and a new perspective on something beautiful. Be patient with your pace and your deviation, you cannot see where your path winds and you cannot force it away from your beautiful destination.
Her favorite quote is by her favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut: “We are here on earth to fart around, and don’t let anyone tell you different.”