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.
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!