“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” ~ Matsuo Basho
Every year on New Year’s day, I do a hike. It has become an annual tradition of mine. Getting up at dawn, regardless of how late I stayed up the night before ringing in the New Year. I grab my hiking boots and micro-spikes and hit the trail come hell or high snow banks.
There are a smorgasbord of reasons for why I subject myself to what can be torture, depending on what happened the night before. First and foremost it is what I envision as setting the year off right with intention, purpose, and drive. Taking a step back into the basics of life and becoming, regardless of how cliche it sounds, one with nature again. It is my meditation for a New Year. Other’s make resolutions, I take a hike. Literally.
This year was no different. After ringing in the New Year with friends and family, I awoke early, grabbed my spikes, and hit the trail to hike one of my favorites; Arethusa Falls.
There was no better way to start the year. I can honestly say, it was one of the most fun hikes I have ever done! I went with my brother, and after having gotten Snapchat lessons a couple weeks ago, it was my turn to be the techno-geek and gave him lessons on Boomerang.
What usually is a quick (if you haul booty) seventy minute hike, turned into a solid two hours as we stopped to take pictures, and act like idiots as we boomeranged.
It was a gorgeous day out. While the temps started out in the twenties, it wasn’t very windy, and with the sun shining we very quickly shed layers as we got our hike on. I have hiked Arethusa so many times, that my backpack only held an extra jacket and a bottle of water. I definitely decided to live on the wild side, this 2017, hiking light.
What I love about Arethusa is every time you visit it is changing, Sunday was no different. I had never seen so much snow. Of course we haven’t had a solid snowstorm in two years, but seriously, the whole place was one gigantic snowbank to jump in. Compacted down over the river bed that flows underneath in the warmer months, there was no having to watch your step or even worry about falling through. It was feet deep! Snow even coated the face of the waterfall making it difficult for ice climbers to get their footing. (Side note: How scary is ice climbing? I am both in awe and horror watching them make their way up those slippery facades!)
It was a mesmerizing scene of white. Being the first ones up, on what is usually a pretty busy trail, my brother and I hung out at the base of the snow covered falls hamming it up for the camera and channeling our inner child with snow angels and snow ball fights. After a half hour, a group of people arrived disrupting the snowy peace and we decided to head back. We may or may not have run down the trail with a couple interruptions and maybe falls as we jumped for Boomerang.
It really was the perfect way to begin the New Year. While we didn’t win awards for time, the moments we spent taking pictures, and joking around were well worth it. Being able to, in those moments, take in the snow covered trees, see the intricate designs of the icicles, and to watch as the sun shimmered through the trees making the world seem sparkly was incredibly meditative. It really was dialing it back to nature and soaking in all the beauty she has to offer. We weren’t rushing, or wondering what came next, we were taking in the journey and having fun doing so.
Is that not what life should be like? Enjoying the journey. Allowing the good and the bad to come and go and taking the time to soak it all in? Even the unpleasant moments? While 2016 wasn’t a great year for many people, those horrible moments have shaped us to be who we are. It has taught us our strengths, as well as how to handle our weaknesses with poise. While I hope 2017 is a happy and joyous one, I also hope it doesn’t rush by. That I am able to soak in each moment; the good and the bad. There are no time limits…Just the journey which while bumpy at times, is a pretty amazing ride to self discovery and love.
Happy New Year everyone! How have the first couple of days of 2017 been?