Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am

Hiking, Then and Now

2 Comments

When I was growing up, my father often took my sister and me, and sometimes friends — of his, or ours— on beautiful hikes of varying length, through the green patchwork of the Colombian mountainside and its cloud forest.  Occasionally, there was a defined path to follow. Most often, there was a starting point and a destination (a lake, a mountaintop, or a town), and, if we were lucky, the remnants of the ancient native paths or a few scattered cobblestones and the sporadic boundary stone remaining from the colonial caminos de herradura, built for pack mules.

We would be up with the sun and drive to our starting point, carrying some water and a picnic lunch, and we’d set off in the general direction of our destination. We never knew how long it would take to arrive, or where we could end up if we strayed from our course. I remember many times when asked for directions from a campesino tending his fields or feeding her hens. More often than not, especially if we were heading in the direction of a town, they would point us towards the highway, where we could catch an inter-municipal bus that could take us quickly. More often than not, they would chuckle at our foolish obstinacy for wanting to go the long, “old way,” through the fields and forests.

We had no cell phones in those distant days of last century. No way of letting anyone know where we were, or, more importantly, no way to contact anyone if we needed help. We didn’t know CPR or wilderness first aid, and I am pretty sure our first aid kit consisted of my dad’s Swiss Army Knife. There was little certainty regarding our hikes, other than that we would eventually arrive, somewhere, and that the journey would be beautiful.

The potential dangers we could encounter never stopped us —not even when we had to slither, single-file, along a fallen tree trunk to cross from one bank of a river to the other (with a couple of babies in tow, that time).  The uncertainties were simply part of the experience. We hiked in rain, through mud, and under sweltering heat. And, surprisingly, we never did have a situation where we needed help we couldn’t get!

Today, when I think back —especially since I have had kids of my own— I think of all the things that could have happened, all the dangers we could have encountered and lost to. Nowadays, I take gentle walks along wide gravel paths with a wide shoulder of mowed grass on either side, keeping the wilderness out of arm’s reach.  I travel with my cell phone and follow carefully placed, colored trail markers at each junction. Today, I check the weather before I set out.

No wonder, then, that I feel a captive of caution. No wonder that I seek certainties in all that I do, on the trails and in the quiet of my sacred space. It is time to reclaim the sense of adventure of my childhood hikes. More importantly, it is time to exercise the unseen powers of orientation and intuition.  It’s time to see past what danger could appear, set aside fear —or invite it along, as a passenger, not as a leader.  It is time to remember why it is we took those back roads, instead of the convenience of the highway: for the gifts unfolding out of that unique experience, for the excitement of the unknown and the beauty in the landscape, for the company and the satisfaction of testing ourselves, and for the stories we could tell once we arrived, before we slept the deep, untroubled sleep that renewed our sweetly tired bodies. For those same reasons, and in order to reclaim my Self, I must stand at this starting point and set my direction for a destination I may reach, eventually, sometime.

Typical Colombian landscape on a rainy day. Photo by Pedro Szekely on Flickr.com

Colombian landscape on a rainy day. Photo by Pedro Szekely on Flickr.com

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Author: Andrea Friedmann

I am an intuitive Life Coach at VibrationsCoaching.com, helping women who feel stuck, lost, and stressed, in their business or their personal life, to reconnect to who they really are, so they can build a life they thrive in. My clients want to feel confident, energized, and excited by their life again! What makes me different is that I developed a process that combines coaching, spirituality, and energy work and, with it, my clients quickly get rid of anxiety, change the underlying, limiting beliefs that keep them stuck and stressed, and discover they have what they need to thrive!

2 thoughts on “Hiking, Then and Now

  1. Dear Andrea,

    When I read this I have a sensation, with an image:

    You reading this piece in a room with others. Everyone gathered to listen, to be present, to know and access intuition from within. You as energy and presence, shared with the energy and presence invited and evoked to be known within each form gathered together, as a kind of Oneness. What follows next . . . a meditation, a circle, a period of movement, singing, silent being and listening, a walk through a natural environ. Any or all perhaps.

    There is a calling and an answering, a knowing in this piece. It is beautiful and profound just as it is, and it simultaneously invites and allows so much more, a breath giving life and space to the next beautiful breath.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    with love, Amy

    The Writers WorkSpace 5443 N. Broadway St. Chicago, IL 60640 phone 773-907-0336 fax 773-751-2242 http://www.writersworkspace.com

  2. Amy, thank you for sharing your inspiration around this piece, it is juicy, calling me to be with it and allow it to shift, expand, turn into something new. I am grateful, always, for your presence and wisdom, and for the invitations you lay out. Thank you.

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