7 truths on and off the trail

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As I often do while hiking, I pray. I meditate. I search my soul and ask what it longs for most. I plot my goals or a story outline. While trekking through the desert this weekend, it’s as if life made a little more sense to me on and off the trail with these truths: 1) Danger is always possible: prepare for the unexpected and proceed with caution. 2) To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun. 3) Remember where you came from: embrace your roots. 4) Keep your eyes open for love: it can show up in unlikely places. 5) Obstacles [aka mountains] are inevitable: it’s our choice whether to scale or avoid them. 6) If it’s meant to be, new growth finds a way. 7) When we think we’ve made it unscathed, another obstacle looms in our path: if it’s the same one, quit going around it and tackle it head on.

Which truth(s) can you relate to everyday life?

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Take a hike: where my mojo woke up

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take a hike

 

I’ve called the Southwest home for more than 16 years and, although I view the mountains daily, hike them on occasion, share the scenic panorama with visiting friends and family, this past weekend I fell in love with the rugged and mysterious desert beauty all over again. It only took two hours and 5.3 miles of exploring the Sonoran Preserve to make that happen. It was almost as if I saw the majestic outcroppings, yellow-white orb hung low in the bluest of blue cloudless skies, for the first time. As I traipsed solo over the rocky trail, while remaining alert for native desert dwellers crossing my path, I wrote a book. It’s a story I’ve chewed on for months—more of an outline than a whole book, with holes to fill. It might be a fluke, but I believe the mountains could be my new go-to place for inspiration. Now to transcribe the story from memory. Or to take another hike.

Where does your mojo wake itself up?

Word-of-the-month: wake-up call (n.)

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Word-of-the-month

[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

Last year the word-of-the-month landed on Memorial Day, too (see fealty).  This year the word is wake-up call.  One online dictionary defines it as “something that serves to alert a person to a problem, danger, or need.”  For some it may be the current state of our country’s political affairs; for others, one of the recent devastating weather events.  For me, a few health issues and the death of a former colleague have forced me to open my eyes.  What I’ve seen is I’ve put certain areas of my life on hold to hitch my dreams on an uncertain future.  Someday.  The day when it all comes together.  But my wake-up call says differently.  Today might be it: the desert my ocean; the articles I’ve had published the only time I see my name in print … happily-ever-after may simply exist in fairytales.  And as much as I want to believe, I need to work with what I’ve got: the present.

What is your most recent wake-up call?

Mother Nature’s odd sense of humor

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[Image credit: digitalart]

I think we can all agree Mother Nature has been goofing around with the climate across the board this winter (and now spring).  Not only have temperatures in the Midwest been unseasonably warm (not during my visit in January, however), but the mercury level in the Southwest has proven just the opposite.  As I drove through the rain last weekend, my car’s temperature gauge registering 43 degrees at 8:30 in the morning, I attempted to conjure up a smidgen of appreciation for the weather.  After all, living in the desert — especially during the summer — leaves little variation (except for monsoon season) to the seemingly endless triple-digit scorchers.  So instead of lamenting closed-toe footwear and a jacket in the middle of March, I decided to appreciate one less day of the three-months straight premature loss of my all-day protection.  Oh, who am I kidding … anything below 80 degrees and sunny is just wrong.  For me, anyway.

What’s your idea of a perfect-weather day?