I know you're sitting on the edge of your seat... Is Ali still hiking? She must have quit. Where is the latest blog post? Well allow me to put your mind at ease... I'm still hiking and have been every week! I did take a little pause in writing, as the Vermont Summer sun has been calling me... So I eagerly responded. We went canoe camping at Green Mountain Reservoir and Middle Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. We've also had many visitors filling our home with fun and merriment. I didn't intend to pause my posts, it just seemed to happen, but I've quite missed the process of stringing sentences together as I reflect upon my week, my hike, and the balance between being a mom and dreaming up a career that I love. I hadn't realized how much I'd come to enjoy writing and I'm happy to be typing away again.
Another rather fun and time consuming part of our summer thus far has been the addition of 21 solar panels to the yard, shed, and soon to be roof. Because of our recent electric appliance acquisitions, (plug in hybrid, heat pump for the living room, and heat pump hot water heater), a better way to get electricity was in great need. I'm happy to report that Bristol Electronics has almost finished the job and my backyard is once again quiet and peaceful. For now. I am currently enjoying a view of the ground panels as I gaze over my significantly dug up (and put back together, and newly grass-seeded) yard. As I survey the scene, I can't help but imagine the many more iterations of change to come... like the garden fence (damn woodchucks), the fire pit for marshmallow roasts, and the new and soon to be reorganized flower beds.
It does come to mind that all of my outdoor projects make it a little difficult to complete or balance my other burgeoning career dreams. And it does come to mind that playing hostess to all the wonderful friends visiting from far and near, bringing joy and laughter into our still new home, does indeed slow down the process of completing my book reports and internship planning. Full disclosure - focus is not my forte, especially when the outdoors or friends are beckoning! It's much easier for me to entertain and comfort others than it is to stick to my tasks and schedule. I am finding it so easy to love this summer, so easy to soak my bones in the sunlight, so easy to get dirt under my nails in the garden, so easy to frolic in the sprinkler with my kiddo, so easy to put down my reading and take up a rake or shovel or my hiking boots. And when what I'm seeking is joy and fulfillment, how could I say no to these simple Summer tasks while the weather is delightful and the sounds of birds and lawn mowers fill the air?
So, I choose not to scold myself for soaking up the summer, and for enjoying the bliss that is Vermont this time of year. I choose keep hiking away up the lovely ledges trail every week and envisioning a career full of light and music and healing and yes, even money making! I choose to allow rules and goals to get a little fuzzy when needed in order to take in a little vitamin D and refill my own batteries with what makes me feel amazing so that I can continue to be motivated to move toward a career of service and love. And most of all, I choose to celebrate making it to the official 1/2 way mark along this 52 week journey of hiking the ledges trail in 2016!
Mornings in the Spring are truly a little piece of heaven. Sitting in my backyard, looking up at the small, lush, mountain which is home to the ledges trail, I can imagine right about where the viewpoint is. Only this morning, I can't quite see it anymore because over the course of a few weeks, nature has fully awakened and filled in every nook and cranny. This is the second day in row I've woken up before 6 AM to head outside in the quiet morning light to soak up some green goodness before the rest of my day gets rolling. Its hard to imagine just a few short months ago that the trees were bare, the grass was brown and the ground was covered with snow. This transition from the cold, slow Winter to the alive, active Spring often feels like it takes forever, and then once its here feels like it always has been.
The past few days we've seen more summery than springy temps, which I think prompted me to rise earlier than normal, hoping to enjoy the outdoors some before the heat and humidity got to heavy. As the sweet Irene Gibson, mother extraordinaire to my husband, says in the early mornings: "Rise and be shiny!" So yesterday I snuck out before my kiddo was up, hopped on my bike and rode over to the trail head.
Somehow in the warm weather, sweat is more inviting. Or maybe just expected, thereby seeming more normal? Or maybe because it was still a cool morning and not a hot day yet, it just felt good to get my blood pumping. Many a hiker were out yesterday with similar notions. Many a bird, many a squirrel (no doubt friends of Sir Knight's), many a leaf... all quite good company. I wondered what might come to mind as cruised on up. Garden. Book reports. Canoe camping. New books too read. The illusive internship to plan. Not much took root, however, which was rather delightful. It felt good to let go of the things on my mind. I felt prompted by the Spring to just grow, breath, enjoy, walk.
This morning as sit and write, my child has since joined me, the sun has since popped over the hill, and I feel prompted to get my day going. I feel tapped into the movement of the day and the lists of my life are beginning to run. My intention, however, is to bring the serenity from the wee morning hours with me, as the day gets rolling and the sun gets cooking. Grateful for my morning retreat, its time once again to "rise and be shiny!"
The past two week's hikes were full of green leaves popping, friends and neighbors and our kiddos. Last week, (week 19 if you're counting), our awesome neighbor Jess McGlynn with her two small humans hit the trail with me and my small human. The leaves had literally JUST opened from buds and I felt like throughout most of the hike my jaw was hung open in awe. What a difference a week makes! Leaves leaves leaves! And then yesterday, (week 20 - jeez Louise - how is the time flying so fast?), my little one and I were joined by the fabulous Matt Gourney and his sweet lil' 7 month old girl who are visiting from Ithaca, NY. More Spring green, more opening buds, more life, activity and energy buzzing in the forest.
Hiking with my son is one of my most favorite things to do. You know, walking along, holding hands, looking at bugs and trees and just being together in the woods. During these past two hikes I saw a glimpse of a growing boy when he - sniff - refused to hold my hand. To be fair, it wasn't like he refused during the whole hike, but normally he is all about, well, holding my hand! Even though it might have stung for a bit, I'm actually very proud of him for walking one step at a time towards independence. Our love for our children explodes into our hearts like lightening when they're born, so thank God their growth into self-sufficient beings happens in little moments like this day after day. I can only handle so much growing up at a one time!
Two weeks on the ledges trail with my kiddo also made me appreciate my solo hikes more. I've come rely on this hike as a time to reflect and filter out the sometimes loud noises of life, parenting and daily on-goings. As much as I love being in the woods with my child, there's also the fact that I often have to drag him up the hill, quell the whining, carry him upon occasion, etc. In the midst of all that mommying, and all the little joys too, there's not much time for self reflection. I suppose its just nice be reminded that I need to take the time for just me, as well as time to nurture my family and bond with friends. A little balance, ya know?
In the midst of all the Spring magic and (finally!) warmer temps, I shifted gears this last week from pumping out homework and book reports for my therapeutic music studies to getting the garden in gear. This is the first time since moving into our Bristol home that I've been able to dedicate some time to getting the garden and backyard up and rolling to grow fruits and veggies. We are unbelievably blessed to have about 2400 square feet of a garden that was just WAY too much for me to wrap my brain around, and for 2 years it has been weeds, weeds, weeds. So. With my honey away last week on business I committed all my spare moments to clearing the scene. Then I had the whole thing tilled, I put 1/2 the space back to grass, and with absolute glee and a little guidance from the wonderful Jill Kopel and Anthony Kessler, I planted our garden! First garden ever! So exciting... I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop, as its all I can think about.
From here I move into the next stage, which is protecting it from the resident animals, of which there are many. Mainly, woodchucks. Dun dun dun. And I also move back into book reports and internship planning. Its a little hard to imagine putting my head in a book, with so much to do in the yard and the sun shining so brightly, but that's what shady trees and lawn furniture is for, right?
Once upon a time there was a mommy and a little boy who very much loved the playful fairies that lived in their backyard. Often the fairies would leave them treasures, like shells and marbles and colored sea glass to collect. One day they decided to build these secretive, magical beings a little home of their own, located just so, where mother and son could keep an eye on it from their breakfast table. Many a morning these two would look out upon the fairy abode and see a furry, brownish-gray squirrel bouncing and prancing about in the mulch near the fairy kingdom. He must be tending to and protecting the fairies from danger, they thought, and so they decided to name the gallant creature Sir Knight, The Fairy Saver.
Soon, mother and child realized that Sir Knight had a mighty army that spanned the surrounding neighborhood and forest. Why, you could see members of his troops all over town! There were indeed Fairy Savers on every corner and every hike and trail the family encountered. Even the fairy-skeptical father couldn’t deny that Sir Knight’s troops were far and wide, and had truly infiltrated the region. Most certainly their thorough presence was to serve a higher purpose: to protect and watch out for the gentle and joyful fairies living in the great outdoors.
And so began the wonderful legend of Sir Knight, The Fairy Saver!
Its been my utter delight to build fairy houses with my son the past few years. I realize I might be fulfilling my fantasy more than his, but I’m quite sure it can’t hurt, and he seems to enjoy the imagination journey as much as I do. I mean, who doesn’t love finding treasures in the leaves and dirt?! This time of year, all sorts of little critters are making themselves known in our backyard, Sir Knight among them. A few days ago on my hike, I met members of his army at every turn. Never seen so many squirrels! They’re a benevolent crew, thank goodness, and made for quite jolly companions as I journeyed up and down the hill for my weekly adventure.
I’ve had an idea brewing for over a month now, and it was on this hike in particular I allowed myself to go into full visionary mode. Besides Sir Knight’s army, I hardly noticed my surroundings as I let my idea bubble and pop in all possible directions. What is this idea, you ask? Well, I’m not quite ready to make a public proclamation yet as I’m not sure if its feasible, but I’ll know more soon. And I’ll keep you posted! I will say this, however: Sir Knight and his crew most certainly heard me babbling to myself as I trekked along my hike the other day. If you are kind to the fairies you might be able to get a few juicy details from them!
It was such a pleasure to take a week's vacation in sunny San Diego, California. Not only did I visit my parents and catch up on some much needed grandparent bonding and mother-father-daughter bonding, but I reveled in the warmth and sunshine of the West Coast. Oh, it felt so divine to soak up all the vitamin D my body could muster, put my toes in the ocean, enjoy the company of my mom and dad, and watch them play with my kiddo. I adore my home here in Vermont, but these are the things and people I miss the most.
This Thursday's hike brought about a clearing of the jet lag sluggies, (a technical term I've probably adopted from my husband who is a master at making his own language.) I'm one of those weirdos who isn't really affected by time change in the beginning, but 3 or 4 days along it hits me like a brick wall. Tuesday's unwelcome snowstorm was on that 4th day. As the late beloved Prince sang, "sometimes it snows in April." But come Thursday afternoon, once again, the sunshine melted away all evidence of Winter and signs of Spring were back in full force. A little hike was just what I needed to get back in the flow of the season. Little brown and red buds making themselves known; sprouts of green grass popping up; ferns shaking off the dust of winter and stretching for the light.
My uphill climb was full of nothing but pumping blood and easy Springtime observations. I don't know about y'all, but when I'm burning calories and shedding a little sweat, I don't tend to think about much except to put one foot in front of the other and how to engage my core or shift my weight so that my knees stay safe. Its the downhill when my mind wakes up more and I get curious about whatever is going on in my world and the world around me. These days, that's therapeutic music.
I've had a big shift in stress levels ever since I decided to pick one career-enhancing move at a time. Therapeutic music is something I was introduced to through my experience with the Wellspring Singers and Addison County's Hospice Volunteer Services. At the end of my year of training through a board certified program called Music for Healing Transition Program, (MHTP), and a subsequent internship, I will become an official CMP, or a Certified Music Practitioner. Woohoo! A CMP is someone who provides live therapeutic music at the bedside to create a healing environment. In my case, I'll be singing! Ultimately, I'd love to learn to play the harp to accompany myself, but for now I'm just using my voice and some tonal percussion instruments. In fact, this weekend I have my 5th of 5 weekend-long classes down in New Jersey. And in this particular class we get to sing/play for patients in a hospital! I'm really looking forward to it, and so grateful to have found a way to both serve others and share my love of music.
As I cruised on down the hill, I thought about my upcoming internship and what I need to do to make it happen. I imagined how I might make space in
my life and where it might be. I got curious about what my life might look like when I'm done and how my commute and life patterns will shift. Mostly I felt super blessed, and lemme tell you, I was riding those fresh endorphins! I'm so blessed to be supported by my family, blessed to be flowing my heart, blessed to be able to give to others in a way that totally fills me up. And blessed to be living right next to a badass little hiking trail where I can figure it all out.
Bless the glorious sun beaming through the south facing window on my laptop and outstretched legs as I began to write. I sat warm and toasty on the couch and even though it was pretty chilly outside still, the sun felt so warm in that moment I could actually believe it was Spring.
Thursday morning, my little one crawled into my side of the bed at 5:53 declaring, "My dreams are over." What a mix of total sweetness and oh-jeezus-its-early! We have one of those clocks that glows green when he's allowed to come into our room in the morning, but lately with the sun rising earlier and earlier, so is my 4 year-old, and our magic clock seems to have lost its magic. Mostly I love morning cuddles and being surrounding by my whole family before the day gets rolling, but 5:53 seemed pretty unwelcome in that moment. And also, mostly, we tend to fall back asleep for a bit in these situations. However, in a surprising moment of inspiration, I quietly sneaked out of bed as it occurred to me that I could actually get in my ledges hike before the day had even begun if I was stealthy like a ninja... and I was! A few tip-toes and some hiking boots later, I was headed out the door.
Bristol seemed relatively quiet but I could hear the morning commuters zipping down 116 on their way to work, as I began my hike and my new boots began their rub-rub-rub on my heels. The first, oh, 1/3 of a mile or so of the journey is a steep gravel logging road that also leads up to a low water tower. From this spot I usually catch my breath for a minute before heading up the foot trail that leads to the view of Bristol. Today while doing just that, I looked up to see the sun making first contact with the southern ridge of the gap. The still bare trees allowed for a lovely view that will soon be filled in with leaves. I was glad for the empty space between the 1000s of trunks and naked branches, and I was glad for my glimpse of the early morning light.
Just when I thought I must have been the only human on the hill that morning, down bounded a bouncy and chipper Melanie Kessler with a grin from ear to ear. This Bristol friend of mine was doing the exact same thing as I was - taking advantage of the early hour, sneaking away from her kiddos for a brief moment and soaking up some nature and exercise before the world began to buzz. With a brief hug and a school girl giggle exchange over how lucky we were to be where we were in that very moment, we kept on our separate ways.
I don't think much entered my brain that morning. And how nice is that? No planning. No scheming or worrying. No weights on my shoulders or deep thoughts taking up space in my mind. Just a little walking meditation, and a change in routine. Its been a while since I've felt much freedom in getting exercise and I could list a ton of excuses that really aren't worth going on about. But now that there's a little more light in the morning, and my small human is sleeping more consistently, I do believe I see the early hours as a viable workout option. Guess I was just ready for a little shift. Don't get all crazy... I doubt I'll be that person up for a jog at 6 AM everyday or anything. But I'm psyched to see the reality of using that time to give myself something I know I want: me in nature, me exercising, me making time to fill up my day with what makes me feel good.
Well friends, a new era of hiking for this Dawson Gibson lady has begun. I did it! I finally bought new hiking boots and boy did I make my feet happy. (Keens, in case you were curious.) I've always felt like my feet were just barely lady-like enough to dare walk into the women's shoe department. But its official... I can now say that I fully embrace the fact that I've bumped over into men's shoe sizes. Until recently, I'd been a women's 10 for 25+ years. Oh how grateful I was when my feet stopped growing just before I topped the end of line. (For any male friends out there who aren't in the know about ladies foot ware, most shoe companies top out at size 10.) Well, one baby boy later I'm embracing my fate as an 11! So a-shopping I did go in the men's shoe department at Sierra Trading Post to buy me a big ole pair of boots. I'm happy to report, my grande feet and I are quite happy with the purchase.
My little trek on Thursday was the day to break 'em in. Somehow it had slipped my mind that new boots need to log a few hours before they're supper comfy. My thoughtful husband reminded me of this as I went out the door on Thursday morning, and I armed myself with a few bandaids just in case. The 1/2 mile bike ride to the trailhead was chilly and snow was on its way later in the day. I wanted to get up and down in time for my noon yoga class and then home before the weather. With time on my mind a bit and my feet moving pretty quickly, about 100 feet up the incline I began to feel a little rub on my heels. Rub. Rub, rub. Why hadn't I worn softer socks? But I had bandaids - I was ready for this.
As the heat on my heels turned up a bit, I began to wonder about other things I'm "breaking in" right now. Immediately I thought about the online class I just completed through Beyond Abundant. I spent 6 weeks really digging in to what makes me tick, who I am, what I want and how I want to feel, how to get it, and how to really, unabashedly love and choose me. Now, I've got all these totally rad tools to make a life I love, and I'm breaking' em in. And just like my shiny new boots, learning to really use awesome information comes with a rub here and there, aka a little vulnerability and fear. And also some adjustments. You know, loosen the laces here, add some different insoles there. Or... maybe make a plan for the week here, realize you're overcommitting but then adjust and take it all in stride there, kinda thing.
And here's a little vulnerability for ya... My giant realization this week was that I have been micromanaging my family, ummmm, a lot! My greatest teacher, my 4 year old son, has been acting like a mirror for me lately and when I was following him to his room the other day I heard myself say with frustration, "Kiddo, you don't have to tell me how to do every little thing!" And then it hit me... Oh jeez, that would be ME telling HIM how to do every little thing! Now, the old Ali would either...
A. Go into total denial about this realization. He's just a kid, what does he know? What is this mirror thing, I must be imagining it.
B. Let my snarky ego take over and feel like a terrible mother who will never figure this shit out.
or C. Blame my husband.
But what did I do with my new, fresh-off-the-block self-awareness chops? (Is that even a saying?) I owned it. I thought about how glaringly obvious this is in my relationship with my husband too. And then I just sat with this realization about how I can sometimes show up in my family relationships. I didn't particularly like this realization, but my oh my, did it feel good to be honest with myself, and then in turn I was able to be honest with my family and start to think about how I can make changes.
So there you have it! The honest truth about how breaking in my hiking boots helped light the way to knowing myself a little better. And you know, I never did need the bandaids. The boots were the perfect choice and just needed a little walking in. No doubt I'll enjoy them, and no doubt my new found grown-up awareness will serve me well too.
This past week's chilly hike was all about the sounds of Spring. I took to the trail on Thursday morning a little sluggish but determined to shift my mood and experience something new. Right of the bat everything seemed louder! The mill must have been open as there were loads of echoing construction noises. For a moment I was a little annoyed to have my nature walk filled with non-nature sounds, but I began to feel the rhythm of the clangs, bangs and trucks, and thought of the action stirring down below.
With this awareness I soon began to seek out other sounds, and it wasn't hard to do! There were loud quacks, or croaks - couldn't quite tell which - from the water tower collection tank. There was the huffing and puffing of my own breathing, and there was one little bird in particular who caught my attention. So much so that I had to sit in "James' Throne," (a rock in the middle of the trail shaped like a mini-throne for a small kiddo-sized human), and I stopped to listen to him. His voice was sweet and clear and persistent. I whistled back. I have a pretty wimpy whistle, but he didn't seem to mind. He flew to a closer tree, then one a bit closer still. Then perhaps he decided my whistle wasn't quite his style, and on he went, and then on I went up to the viewpoint.
It was a lovely relief to reach the top. Even though I had just one week off due to my earache last week, it was enough to notice my heavier breathing. I took a brief glance out over Pine Street and my neighborhood and heard the Bristol Elementary School children playing at recess. I wondered if they were enjoying their play time as much as I was, and then headed back down, looking forward to a glass of water.
The sounds of Spring had been my focus on the way up, and the throbbing in my feet was now my focus on the way down. (It is indeed not a myth that your feet grow when you have a child! Time for new boots!) The pain sure was trying hard to get my attention, and succeeding quite well. It soon occurred to me, however, that I had at some point on my way up chosen to listen to the nature around me, even though at first I was drawn to the sounds of the mill. And just like the mill had brought my attention to the sounds of Spring, perhaps I could seek some wisdom from my "loud" foot pain. The word focus came to mind again and perhaps I just needed to shift it. My knees were a little shaky, so I focused on where each foot was going, and how each rock, leaf and puddle might move with my weight. And I noticed my foot pain less... I began to think about how I had chosen to focus my attention over the past week and how I had missed some of my goals. Even though I'd worked on downsizing my work load, I still wasn't very balanced, and perhaps I needed to focus on just one thing for now. Therapeutic Music! It felt awesome to make a decision! I took a load off my plate and my heart lightened. And I felt my foot pain less...
By the time I got back to my car, my boot soles were flopping with every step, adding to yet another sound for my collection that day. And I gained some glorious clarity around what to focus on right now, career-wise. One thing at a time: a new theory for this I-can-do-it-all super-mom. But I think its what I need... Here's hoping less balls in the air brings about more sanity and a little inner peace.
One thing I love about being my own boss is that I get to make the rules! So in that light, I hereby merge weeks 11 and 12 of this 52 week journey. 'Cause it's all good and that's how I'm rollin' right now. Last week I stalled my hike a bit so I could enjoy it with some friends coming to visit over the weekend. A glorious chilly day it was, and I'm so glad I got to share it with some pals from Brooklyn, AND my honey and kiddo. They even let me depart from the gang early and descend alone (and quickly) so I could get to a little music making gathering happening in the village. Felt great to sing with friends, hike with friends, and that night we got our nerd on and played board games with friends. (For fellow nerds out there, it was a Ticket to Ride and Dominion kinda night.)
I have to admit that this weekly blog and hike have become a part of my routine. I like the added challenge to be creative and accountable to y'all with words and a hike. Yet to alter any routine can cause a little upheaval and I felt that this last week. I'm currently taking this great online course called Beyond Abundant. (Weekly videos and workbooks and conference calls with a small group of women all goin' deep into ourselves, our dreams and desires and how to make them happen. It's bad ass. And also known as the BA Nation.) This past week's assignment smacked me right between the eyes and I found myself slacking. I think the fear of really diving deep into the work, head on, mixed with a little change in routine mixed the perfect cocktail for checking out and falling behind. Oh excuses, you know just how to creep in, don'tcha?
But seriously, whatever! A little slack can bring on much needed insight. Here are my big takeaways from slacking these past 10 days or so.
1 ~ When you know you should be doing something but you aren't doing it, you feel like crap. And who wants to feel like crap? So get up off your ass and get 'er done, because you will FEEL better.
2 ~ Even when you're slacking, be kind to yourself. Berating and negative self talk will only make things worse. Be willing to *change the story* you are telling yourself. I'm too busy, becomes... I have all the time I need. Why do I always do this kind of thing, becomes... I'm grateful to recognize a pattern of behavior and notice that I have the ability to change it.
3 ~ Boundaries boundaries boundaries. I tend to be a people pleaser, yes say-er, and over giver. Its easy to blame others for what's happening in your life. But what happens when you, with gentleness and kindness, take responsibility for where you are? Its EMPOWERING. You have the power to set a boundary so that you are healthier and happy? Sweeeet! You have the ability to say what is really on your mind instead of saying what you think people want to hear just to make them more comfortable? You do? YES. You do. And by you I mean me. :)
Shout out to the women in the BA Nation for calling it as you see it and driving home these messages for me. I gotta say that I lovvvvve being 40 and finally embracing me and standing in my own skin. Highly recommend it, and - ha! - you don't even have to wait till you're 40! It's not quite a habit yet but I'm so completely sure it will be soon. Thank you, slacker-self, for bringing some of this stuff into a deeper awareness and even ownership. Thank you random earache for keeping me inside today and OFF the mountain so I could roll with the wave and find a way to catch up and keep on cruisin'. It really truly is, all good.
If there were such a thing as the official start date of mud season, I would shout, "Its official!" And with this transition out of Winter and into Spring, comes the glorious smell of earth, dreams of planting a garden and seeing the first buds on the trees stretch for the warmth of the sun with all their might. After such an odd and snow-less winter, it hardly seems real that we've made it through the coldest months, but that does seem to be the case! You might have even heard me shouting from the mountain top, "Weeeehoooo!" Or you might also see my car swerving on the slurpy back roads, or you might see me cleaning up muddy foot prints from the floor because my little one has forgotten to take off his boots after playing outside, or you might see me doing an extra load of laundry after yet again swiping up against my filthy car. But this is the small price we pay for the promise of a magical Spring, which is just around the corner!
All of this said, the ledges trail was actually in pretty descent condition when I went up yesterday. I had the pleasure of running into the Yost sisters at the gate, which put a big smile on my face and a pep in my step. Sisters always make me smile. I am the oldest of three girls and I love and miss them both dearly. One sister lives in the Bay Area where we are all from, and the other is around the world in Vietnam. I found myself thinking about them as I climbed to the ledge view, and reminiscing about adventures we'd had over the years. We've gone in and out of being close, but that sisterly bond has always held tight and I know it always will. Living so far apart takes its toll on closeness, but I'm grateful for Skype, jet planes and a little vacation time when we can take advantage of it. I thoroughly enjoyed today's cairns... the one below I aptly named The Three Sisters.
When I stopped to take this picture I was moved to just stand there and take it all in. As I looked around, I noticed the trees, still and bare. They seemed quiet but alert, and perhaps in their tree like way, they were noticing me too. I slowly turned in a circle and realized how surrounded by them I was. Their tall trunks and branches like veins and arteries, just beginning to pulse with sap. Their roots, deep and connected like a web beneath me. I felt cocooned by the forest, this network of nature, and as I missed my sisters who are far and wide, the trees sent me their sisterly love and I was embraced.
My decent was quick and easy and fun. I even ran into a little friend (below) who allowed me to get a shot of his best side. The fresh air, the mud, my little tree hug, all made for a wonderful morning adventure. Sometimes I can hardly believe I manifested this life for myself. Not every second is bliss, but I'm working on noticing bliss more and more. Its like all I have to do is just turn a little to the right or left and there it is, waiting to be recognized. A change in perspective, a change in the light and boom! I have the ability to align with the experiences I seek. Its my choice! And I right now I can hear the Monty Python crew calling to me... "You have chosen... wisely."
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!