DAY 20 of the #HAWMC asks: What gets me OUT of burnout, or OUT of the pit of despair when nothing is going my way? I get thee to the wide-open spaces.
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Hiking up a hill that spills out onto a breathtaking vista is the surest way for me to
put my problems into perspective. The sight of nature acts like a vacuum for my worries, sucking them into the wild, spewing them out across the valley floor, rendering them too infinitesimal to take me down.
I love to hike in the morning when the light is bright and the breeze still chill, before the air drifts up between the canyons and gets toasted by the sun.
Because it isn't just me up on that mountain; there is a pulsing world of wildlife living in the chaparral and the bunchgrass.
Bees and insects alight on dainty blossoms, ants aim for the lily leaves, flies feast on coyote scat. Rabbits run through sage scrub; deer disappear beneath the protective cloak of an evergreen, a sycamore, a bay laurel or a black walnut tree. The mountain sings with the sparrows and wrens, swoons with the red-tailed hawks, swoops with the eagles and falcons.
I often encounter the unexpected when hiking, and I look for (and embrace) these moments.
It's always a good day when I spot a horse being worked out much like me on the trail. Or when I hear the roar of half a dozen cops on motorbikes who stop to shoo a king cobra off the trail and warn me of others farther down the hill.
I also know if I hike too close to sunset, I risk entering "Beauty and the Beast" zone. That's when nature puts on her technicolor light show, while hungry coyotes with their haunting howls hide stage left and right.
It's also when I see the evening birds fluttering above me in a quickly darkening sky and I recognize them for what they really are: These are the imposter birds. I pick up my pace and pull my hat a little lower over my brow, hoping to make it to my car before the bats drive-bomb my hair.
DAY 21 of the #HAWMC asked me to ponder this quote: "The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all," then write about where I bloom best. I believe I just did. Two challenges in one post, two birds with one stone. Whew who!