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.
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!