Black. And. Blue. That’s me, now, after a weekend of hiking 15+ miles of trails (many of them nearly vertical) in stunning Fall Creek Falls. It was meant to be a getaway weekend with a good friend, but when he took ill, I decided to go on my own anyway. I am so very happy that I did.
There’s something magical that happens when you spend hours, even days, not conversing with anyone. The narrator in your head (who in my case also takes turns being the nag, the whiner, the bored child, the cheesy joker, and the timid wallflower) gets tired of talking to only itself after a while, and eventually just goes somewhere in the endless corridors of the mind to take a much-needed nap.
And then there is quiet.
For me, that’s when another voice emerges. Not in the mind, but seemingly from the center of my chest, right under the ribs. Her voice is much softer, and she speaks in a direct manner, answering questions in the least amount of words necessary, but expertly chosen. She’s quite enjoyable really.
Some of our conversations were nurturing:
“This waterfall is incredible! I can’t believe it! I have to take 1000 pictures and make the most of it! There isn’t even anyone around!”
You are so fortunate to be alone here – sit at the foot and meditate on it a while.
Others were humorous:
“What if there are fish in the water?? They’re so slimy and I hate the way they dart around like little crackheads. I don’t trust them.”
You ridiculous girl. Put your feet in the lovely, crisp water. No one dies of fish bites.
But my favorite thing that she said, over and over and over again was:
You are happy.
You are HAPPY.
YOU ARE HAPPY.
Another voice said this better than I, long ago. She was many years younger and many lifetimes wiser than I will ever be.
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” – ANNE FRANK