God has blessed and challenged me with an inner alarm clock that allows me to welcome the new day, EARLY. AND it isn’t uncommon to be awed with images like this. On this morning, I felt the invitation from Chicago Lakes to “Come and receive.” This is the view that filled my heart, at Echo Lake.With my heart full, I journey up the trail and gaze towards my hopeful destination, Chicago Lakes.The trail was challenging at times, filled with anticipation and it was faithful to my feet, heart, soul and eyes.As the trail led me upwards, I wondered, “Will I make my hoped for destination, Upper Chicago Lake?” I looked ahead and with a smile filling my heart, I moved ahead. Well, the trail was faithful, and the snow at the top…well, it was faithful also. I could see my hoped for destination, just 100 yards from where I stood. I stepped onto the snow: wet AND STEEP. I thought that I could make it up, BUT the return would move my heart into a rapid pace. I pondered for a long while and listened to the voice within that pleaded with me to listen to it, “You don’t feel comfortable, so don’t go any further.” Simultaneously there was this other voice, “GO FOR IT!! Push yourself beyond your comfort.”
And, one more voice, “Look around you, right where you’re at. RECEIVE the beautiful gifts before you. What is beyond you at this moment will receive you the next time you return. Don’t let the disappointment (that was very real) deter your reception of the gifts that are yours right now, in this very spot.”
So, I looked around and my heart was again, FULL. This was Lower Chicago Lake, in all its glory.
…And of course, just as I faced down and took the first step back toward the beginning, fellow hikers came, very hesitantly, down the STEEP snow, from the top. The other voice spoke up again and again and again. I smiled for those who descended towards me and I smiled for me, while I continued downward.So, the trail was faithful and blessed me, AND the scenes along the way, did also.
This is one of those bridges that I just can’t cross without stopping first. This morning, the water was flowing full, fast and loud. It was both invigorating and peaceful. So, I did stop, and let the sounds and scene wash over me.As you climb out of the valley a bit, you are greeted with memories of the mountain. I wondered about the sounds of days gone by and infused them with the sounds of the birds that sang their joyous blessings. Death and resurrection…just sayin’.And the flowers… Oh my goodness, the flowers, silently overwhelmed me, EVERY step of the way. Some extended blessed invitations to return, while blessing me at that very moment.Some invited me to lie besides them and see the world from their perspective.Others opened and had this mysterious power drew my eyes and whole being into their world…our world.And the trees were being transformed, right in front of my eyes. NEW life…And yes, other creatures were drawn into this mysterious power also.Every once in a while I saw things, that may not be there, but they are: like Simba, mane flowing on top of his head, flowing behind him while he crouched down in the flowers, ready to pounce or…lie and rest.All those gifts have been blessing the world since before any humans walked into the neighborhood. This gift, well it was brought later, by the new residents in the neighborhood and it was welcomed into the community. YES, I did sit in that bench AND walked the labyrinth and …you get the picture.Then the trail faithfully returned me to the spot where the journey began, 8 hours prior. I’m tired, full, eager and grateful for the Revealing Spirit Through Nature.