When Terri and I were in the planning stage for walking the Camino de Santiago, we did an assessment on about how far we felt we could walk each day. We planned to go about 12 to 14 mile/day. We had a few days in there for some rest but we pretty much needed to stay on this pace of walking in order to get to the city of Santiago de Compostela and our airplane ride home on time. To maintain this pace of walking, we had to be headed out walking when the sun was coming up, then we tried to be settled in where we were going to spend the night by mid afternoon. The focus each day was really about getting your miles in and then getting refreshed in the afternoon/evening so we could begin again the next day.
I had a different kind of hiking experience recently. I call it “hiking like a two year old”. I was in Colorado for a conference and came in a day early so I could hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. I took off on this hike very early in the morning (similar to the Camino) but instead of focusing on getting the miles in, I channeled my “inner two year old”. Like a two year old, I hiked very slowly and my attention was totally immersed in the “inner beauty” of Rocky Mountain National Park. I ended up taking almost 8 hours to hike about 5 miles with many wonderful “off trail side trips” to a beautiful river that ran near the main trail. It was one of my favorite all time hikes.
Some of you might be familiar with the Bible story of the sisters, Martha and Mary, good friends of Jesus. When Mary is found sitting at Jesus’ feet and Martha is busy working making preparations for his stay at their house, Martha complains to Jesus that her sister has left her to do all the work and she wants Jesus to tell her to help.
I saw a parallel to how one hikes a trail. If one is walking slowly taking in the “inner beauty” of nature then we are most like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet listening intently to him. This is the type of hiking I find I love to do these days. I have spent a lot of years being a “Martha type hiker”, where it is all about getting in the miles and these day I am finding that my joy now is being the “Mary type hiker”! Hiking like a two year old!
Blessings and all good,
Photograph of the Week
This image is two photographs merged together into one. I loved the wildflowers of the park and the wonderful boulder and rocks with their awesome textures and colors. For me, this is the inner beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park.