Beauty: Salve For The Soul

Beauty: Salve For The Soul




That is how many clicks I have had on my last post, She Died Doing What I Love, since July 14th.

I have been blogging since January 6th of 2016 and I have published 185 posts in that time.  None of them even come close to having that kind of response.  The closest is 470 on my Must Hike Must Eat post and I published that one on February 25, 2016.  A piece I was more proud of, Definition of Courage, has only had 132 views.

I didn’t share my latest post on social media; it only went out to my 160 readers and my sister, who shared it with family.

What does that say?

What drew people to that post?  That topic?  Or more likely, what made it show up in searches on Google or Chrome?  Just as my pessimism was setting in (everyone loves a tragedy), I received an email from a woman who had been there with Karen’s friend as they waited for the rescue helicopter.  She shared that she had been wanting to reach out to the family but wasn’t sure how to when she found my post on the internet.  She talked about how being there on that mountain that day had changed her life.  I think she wanted answers, too. Healing, just like the family.

I pray she finds it.

I can’t change any of what has happened but it got me thinking about what I can do.  Maybe I offer some beauty as balm for the pain and anguish of life’s harsh reality.

I wrote that piece the day after hiking up Sauk with my family to get out some of what I was feeling.  Then, I got in the car and headed to Oregon for a backpacking trip in Eagle Cap Wilderness with my friend Elizabeth (trip report to come).  We carried that event in our hearts during our trip, making us more cautious and appreciative of our time together.

I stood here…

…and here.

I came back and 3 days later went on another trip with friends up the West Fork Foss River Trail to Iron Cap Mountain.

I climbed up here…


…and stood here.

I returned and 3 days later I went out on another work party with the PCTA and walked the trail through this…


…and scrambled up to stand in awe of this.

And tomorrow I drive up to Canada for yet another trip.

Life goes on with both beauty and sorrow. 

Hiking is my therapy, I guess.  For almost anything.  Oh, the trials and tribulations I have processed with miles and miles of wandering through God’s wilderness creations.  The prayers I have held and the decisions I have pondered.

I hold my loved ones in my thoughts as I’m sure they do me. Hoping that time will bring healing and only loving memories will remain.

I texted one of my best friends today to wish her a happy birthday (we’ve been friends 29 years) only to end up listening to her anguish as she told me her mom is in her last days, possibly last hours.  All I can pray is, “Not on her birthday, Lord, not on her birthday.”  My sister’s dog had a stroke and we found out a dear childhood friend is starting chemo after a double mastectomy.  All the emotion swirling around me.  So much reality.

During my Spring Break road trip, I took the time to step away from the blog and social media and be present in what I was doing then.  It was so freeing that I vowed to do it this summer as well as I enjoyed all my outdoor plans.  I come home long enough to put in a few hours at work, spend time being present with my loved ones, do some laundry and then head back out again.  Brief time on social media is well, brief.

I’m not sure my post has a point, it is just a little of what my life feels like right now.  I thought I would be sharing different things this summer; talking about latest my gear, my latest recipe for sweet & sour chicken and stories of spending time outdoors with my friends.  Or in solitude with myself and nature.

I guess those things will have to wait.  All I long for now is connection with meaningful things.   To feel alive. 

It’s time to head back out to the wilderness…

“If you reconnect with nature and the wilderness you will not only find the meaning of life, but you will experience what it means to be truly alive.”
Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears



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