Seeing Beyond the Thorns

On a hike today, I chose to leave any company behind and just be with myself. I don’t get to be solo very often. Between the demands of a job and maintaining a balance with friendships and family, I find little time for blank space. My nature is to go, to do, to be present, to seize the moment, to be social, to be interesting, to be, to be, to be…

This “be”-ing is fun and it fuels me but every once in a while, I crash. The crash usually hits every three or four months. It typically involves a good book, working in my garden,  binge watching movies no one else in the family wants to watch and solo adventures. Today it was a hike.

The silence in this space was like taking big gulps of water when your mouth is beyond parched. I didn’t need Spotify today. My steps upon the dry brush provides the soundtrack I need.

The hills are bone-dry at this time of year. Their Summer gold glow has settled into an almost dull bronze; this grass has not seen a drop of rain for months yet it is still pretty to me. There a pockets of manzanita on the ridge and I see a pair of coyotes now alert to my presence. They seem interested for a flash and then carry on their way. Their coats blend impeccably with the backdrop of the hill they climb. Little lizards scurry haphazardly on my path. I pause to think about the prospect of rattle snakes but decide not to let this cloud my head.

Upon meeting the top of the hill, I see the view I need. Sometimes feeling tiny in this big, big World is the best perspective to have. A few big breathes and thoughts of gratitude fill me up. I take a few minutes to just “be” without the “ing.” To my left, a cactus stands its ground. Its spines allow it to thrive. Nestled in the middle was a single yellow bloom- a reminder that beauty can exist within the even the formidable of thorns.  I consider this juxtaposition and absorb the thought. Maybe I wont wait for a crash to take my next solo adventure. Maybe I can do this more often.


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