So many people seem lost. Maybe it’s COVID. Maybe it’s the times, the political climate. But 2020 seems to have people doubting, fighting and arguing quite a bit. So many opinions. So many losses. Hope is a basic need. When we don’t have hope, we feel lost. Hold on to anything or anyone good. Hold on.
Let’s take a moment to breathe. Right now. Pause. Breathe in. Hold it for a few seconds. Slowly release the air. Do it again. Most people don’t realize how often we hold our breath or are taking short breaths. I took a walk this morning. I haven’t done that in a long time. I did my best to be in the moment and not think about everything going on in my life or the world. Just take in nature. Here’s what I experienced.
I arrived at 7:30am. Some people were fishing off the dock. I headed toward the paved walking path. It’s quiet. I can hear the birds and fish splashing in the water. Very few people are out yet. I reminded myself to breathe. It was at that moment I realized I forgot my asthma inhaler. So I took in another breath and kept walking. Every time my mind wandered to what is weighing on my mind, I took a breath and looked around. I reminded myself to be here now.
Just when I started feeling overcome with emotion, I looked up and saw a tree that looked like it had been struck by lightning. Do you see what I see in the photo? Leaves, growth. If that tree can survive and grow, so can I. I said a prayer for hope. I’m hanging on. One step at a time. Breathing. (Lots of breathing!)
Further along I heard a duck and stopped to see the water. Calm, a gentle breeze moved the duck along. I breathed in the moment and moved along too.
After walking about 20 minutes, I was at a crossroad. Do I take the paved trail I normally walk that goes around the water or do I take the trail that I have thought of taken before and hadn’t tried yet? It was a trail that was often closed and has a bird sanctuary. I could see the gates were open and I decided to check it out. I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw the path.
I could’t believe all the graffiti and what I was reading. There were gang signs, hate signs, swearing, political messages, and more. The picture only shows a portion of what I saw. I gasped and froze. I would be going from a paved, beautiful nature path into a dirt path that started with hatred. There was a curve and I couldn’t see what I was going into. I paused and debated if I should continue. I hadn’t seen one person on my path and I wasn’t sure if I should proceed.
I decided to walk forward and see what was around the bend. All I could see was a lonely, dingy endless dirt path. I stopped again. Should I turn back or push forward and see if there is more? I started to retreat when I hesitated. At this point I was overwhelmed and took a breath. What path should I take? I stood there debating. I decided to take a chance. I continued on the dirt path. Just when I was about to give up, two people on bicycles went by and said good morning. I also saw an opening with sunlight ahead. So I thought I’d see if I could see anything in the sunlight. Once I came upon the sunlight opening, I stopped and could see the water. I hesitated and again contemplated if I should go on or go back. I was starting to get tired. I hadn’t been on a nature walk in months. I’m fighting doubt, emotional overload. I decided to continue on. About half way to the next sunlight patch, I stopped myself. I was alone. Was I making good decisions? What was ahead? Was it worth going on for? I pushed forward to the next sunlight opening. Again I could see the water and I wrestled with my mind if I should turn back. I decided to walk off the path into the trees. Could I see where I was headed or make a decision to turn around? I had just taken another breath and decided it was okay to go back, when something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. When I moved a branch and looked closer, it was the bird sanctuary. Wow! I hadn’t thought it would look like that. I anxiously moved onto the path and started walking again. This time I walked to find the birds, but there was no end in sight to the dingy dirt path. There was no sunlight. I finally came to a small opening and walked off the path into the trees to get a closer look.
Herons! Everywhere and talking quite a bit to one another. It was so cool. I wanted to get a closer look. I also realized I had overdone what my body could do. I knew I couldn’t go on. But that was okay. So I stood and listened for awhile more then I climbed back to the path. On my way back, there were more people. A few people were talking. A few were arguing. Several ‘good mornings’ and one person warned me of a loose dog ahead. Wearing a mask on the way back didn’t help my journey. But it was the safe thing to do. I made it back to my car. I was shaking. Nothing was solved. But much was appreciated. Along the simple nature walking path, I remembered life takes an unexpected turns and there are obstacles. But I keep going. I keep breathing. We all need people. We all need motivation and hope. I’m doing a lot of praying and hoping right now.
Praying for peace, justice and hope. Praying for calm, strength and courage. Hoping my journey helps someone.
~I’m here to help
If you enjoyed this writing, read on to some of my other works and drop me a comment.
May I also suggest I Stumbled Into Myself: https://tinaheretohelp.com/2017/04/02/i-stumbled-into-myself/