Last week’s Hike for Hospice was a wonderful success! Well, that’s what I’d really love to write and have it be completely true. Let me try again… Hikers were met by a stellar sunset at the top of the ledges trail last week as they raised loads of funds and awareness for Hospice Volunteer Services! Also not quite how it went, but doesn’t that sound great? OK, I’ll give it one more go. 10 hearty hikers met last Saturday in solidarity for Hike for Hospice, as they hiked up the Bristol Ledges Trail on a cloudy evening to enjoy each other's company. Now THAT statement is totally true. And it sounds, well, not bad at all. For now.
Have you ever pursued something when it was pretty clear that the timing was off? Of course you have. We all have! I think my efforts last week to rally troops up the hill in the name of an awesome cause came down with a little case of the bad-timing-blues. You know, when you have the best intentions and everyone says, Oh that sounds great, or Oh what a good idea, or I’d love to come and I’ll try to make it. And to you that sounds like a win, right? But inside, your subconscious also heard from well-wishers, Wow another thing on that really busy weekend, or Jeez I’m tired and would love a night at home, or I’m just really not into that but good luck! (I know. I do it too!) Yet you carry on, because, well it just seems like such a good idea.
So that’s where Hike for Hospice landed last week. Let me say that I truly had a great time hiking up the trail, as usual. I mean, how could I not?! My kiddo, husband and I and a handful of delightful people were on the trail soaking up the goodness of the Green Mountains and getting to know each other better on a Saturday evening. Good stuff - nay, great stuff!
Through this process I have learned a lot. On the short list are things like listening to my gut instinct, setting better boundaries for myself, and having faith and believing in my path. Ultimately I’m grateful for the learning experience, even if it seemed a bit more like a growing pain than a successful fundraiser. I don't mean to get too deep on y'all, but I believe that things unfold as they are meant to, even when it might feel frustrating or disappointing at times. That's just how I roll. I'm walking away with some golden nuggets from the process, like how I feel wiser and closer to understanding why letting go of expectations for an outcome is helpful, cleaner, more grounded. I'm looking forward to trying again next year. Onward and upward!
On my hikes this last week, I began to see bits of evidence here and there that we are indeed getting closer to Fall. With school starting and vacations wrapping up, I realize this seems obvious, but it really does help me shift gears when I bear witness to nature’s subtle shifts as the year goes along. The darkest greens have now settled in as the trees hold on to the last of their chlorophyll of the season.
A little fun fact I discovered on the interwebs today: cooler temps don’t actually have anything to do with when the leaves start to change. Its all about the light, which is why leaves change at a relatively similar time each year. Right about now, we’re losing around two minutes of sunlight a day, and by Fall’s Equinox it will get up to three minutes a day! The trees sense the shorter daylight hours and begin to form a corky layer of cells at the base of the leaf which cuts off many nutrients, including that green stuff we call chlorophyll. As this happens the leaves "true" colors are revealed. Cool, right? (This article was pretty fun and filled in some gaps for me.) The brightness of leaves’ colors during Fall has more to do with temperatures and water fall, and from my understanding, a drought can make for a less vibrant season. But mellow oranges and reds and browns are still lovely, so even if there are less shocking colors this year, it will still be beautiful.
I adore Fall! Its my favorite season. I certainly mourn the end of Summer a little… the heat, the playfulness, the relaxed schedules, the vacations and weekend trips and BBQs. Last week I was 10 miles of the coast of Portsmouth, NH, on Star Island, surrounded by the glistening blue Atlantic with no cars and wonderful friends and family. What a treat to totally, let, go, and PLAY. A perfect way to wrap up Summer.
But now I’m home, and the leaves are darker, and the nights cooler. S has started preschool and I’m starting to think about our new routines this school year, and finishing up the last of the backyard projects like our new fire pit (which I finally done!), and that darn garden fence (still lingering, but getting closer). And then there’s all that glorious Fall stuff that’s so nostalgic from my youth… apple picking, harvest festivals, Halloween costume dreaming, fresh veggies for days, that 1 new back-to-school pair of shoes, cozy sweaters (but only at night), running through crunchy leaves, etc. As a grown up, there are some fun additions like canning, making soups, new voice students, a new therapeutic music internship, and gearing up for indoor crafting projects (this year its birch bark!). I could go on an on!
This year there’s a special addition to the Fall line up… a fund raiser for Addison County’s Hospice Volunteer Services (HVS) called… dun da da DUN! Hike for Hospice! (This is an idea that's been brewing in my mind for a while as I've been hiking week to week...) If you’re in the area, please join me on:
Saturday, September 17th, at 5:30 PM**
We'll meet at the trail head for a sunset hike up the ledges trail. Suggested donation is $10. You can hike in honor of a loved one who’s passed, or just come out to support HVS. Its sure to be a wonderful hike!
**Yes, this date and time have been edited. I had originally thought 9/10 at 6PM was going to work best, but I didn't quite have my act together so I'm giving it a bit more time.
Over the next few weeks I intend soak up every last bit of Vitamin D that I can. The river might seem a little less appealing, with slightly cooler temps but I don’t care, I’m going in anyway! Soon enough, it will be a frosty frozen wonderland around here again. So instead of focusing on what’s way down the road, I’m just gonna keep hiking and loving what is, and allow myself to slowly turn towards Fall.
Hi, my name is Ali Dawson Gibson. I'm a healer, a singer and a teacher. This Blog, 52 Weeks of the Ledges, is from 2016 when I hiked this awesome Bristol Ledges trail once and week and shared my experiences. Enjoy!