Lately, I’ve been going on hikes to prepare for an upcoming road trip. On the weekend, no matter the weather, I spend my morning at my local state park. There is a five mile loop that goes along the river and up into the bluffs. It’s a great place to train and an even better place to think.
This morning, rain was in the forecast and I had the trail all to myself. One of my favorite things about hiking is the way the cadence of my footsteps pushes my brain to places that feel high and rich. As I scrambled over rocks, past trees, and up high hills, I found myself deeply moved by spring.
In Minnesota, spring comes slowly. It comes in waves of warm and cool weather, rain and sun, green grass and sticky mud.
On the trail, most of the forest was still brown and dead. The leaves were just starting to peek forth–a green blush against the rainy sky. The ground was scattered with little flowers–pink and white and purple and yellow.
What a miracle it is, that life emerges from the bare earth. It reminds me that there will come a day where there will be no more crying, no more pain, no more injustice.
Spring comes forth in quiet radiance, whispering of life and peace and, best of all, hope.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to camp in Northern Minnesota. A friend and I stayed in my uncle’s self-built rustic cabin in the woods a few miles from Lake Superior. We had a wonderful time going on hikes, sitting by the lakeshore, exploring waterfalls, discussing morality in Game of Thrones, and reading poetry aloud at the campfire.
It was a peaceful weekend. I felt all the clutter in my life fade away. The sounds of daily life fade in comparison to the rush of a waterfall. Alone time in nature, for me, is soul detox.
In my quiet moments, I reflected a great deal on how complex the human experience is–how beautifully multifaceted we all are. I wrote in the margins of my sketchbook: “Personhood is a complicated, beautiful thing–what an adventure it is to live inside myself. There are so many corners, so many contradictions–How can I be so many people at once?”Continue reading →
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”J.R.R. Tolkien