Posted in My thoughts, tagged attitude, beauty, biking, exercise, forest, hiking, life, michaux forest, mountain, mountain biking, nature, spring, woods on April 4, 2017|
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Leaf Trail (aptly named)
Often in life our plans change due to unforeseen circumstances. It can be difficult to adjust to the new directions we are forced to follow, but once in a while Plan “B” isn’t a bad direction at all. This past weekend we finally had a spring-like day and my husband and I were anxious to spend time on our mountain bikes on a local trail. There are a TON of trails near our cottage and we are just beginning to explore them. While I still prefer road biking, I’m quickly developing a love for riding through the mountain trails. For me it combines two great loves – hiking and biking. It’s like hiking on wheels.
Ready to hit the trail
We rode up a big hill just to get to the trail head and we excitedly started down the trail. Some of the trail was a very smooth mountain path and other sections were more technical. (I tend to walk the more difficult sections. – yes, I’m a wimp. ) We were riding for about 10 minutes and we suddenly found ourselves faced with needing a plan “B” While going over a large group of rocks my husband’s derailleur completely snapped in half and the bike could no longer be ridden.
The derailleur is the piece that shifts the chain between gears. (this one is not broken)
We then had a decision to make—just walk the bikes back to the cottage or park them by a tree and continue on the path by foot. We, of course, chose the latter option. Since we love to hike it was a great alternative.
White I was disappointed that our original plans got derailed, (pun intended 🙂 )I realized as I walked that I was able to see things from a totally different perspective on foot than on the bike. On the bike most of my concentration goes to avoiding obstacles – trees, rocks, roots….. Much of the surrounding beauty is overlooked due to the necessity of needing to watch the trail directly in front of you.
Ready to enjoy Plan “B”
I began to take pictures of things I would have missed if I was still on my bike. The first was a moss-covered rock. The bright green just jumped out at me. With spring just now beginning here in South-Central PA nature is just now starting to sprout green around us.
Gorgeous shad of green
At one point I stopped and looked up at the sky. It was so beautiful to see the sky surrounded by various tree tops. This was something I definitely couldn’t have done on a bike. (Try looking up at the sky while riding a bike – not a good idea)
Beautiful spring sky as seen through tree tops
We hiked to the end of the trail and began the trek back to pick up our bikes and head to the cottage. I had passed by this tree going the first direction, but it was an entirely different view from this side.
One funky tree
We eventually reached the spot where our bikes were leaning against a tree and began the process of walking them back. While it was definitely not fun walking a heavy mountain bike over all of the obstacles on the trail I wouldn’t have given up the chance to simply be out in nature. All in all it was a wonderful day.
Bikes are a lot more fun to ride than to walk. 😦
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Posted in My thoughts, tagged attitude, Christianity, compassion, forgiveness, God, grief, healing, hurt, life lessons, loss, love, maturity, pain, prayer, spirituality, strength on May 15, 2013|
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“Write your hurts in the SAND and you blessings in STONE.”
When I first read this quote I liked it, however, I changed my mind as I thought about it. I realized that it’s not really possible to do, nor is it a beneficial thing to even try to do. No matter how much we may try to deny it, we ARE a product of all our past experiences — the bad as well as the good. Each and every thing that enters our life shapes us in some way. Everyone experiences hurts as well as blessings and it is impossible to have the hurts simply disappear like words that are written in sand.
None of us can choose when or how a painful circumstance may enter our lives, but we can choose how we allow events to change us. I know it sounds cliche’ to talk about pain making you stronger, but if you spend time with people who have experienced deep wounding in their life, you will often find this to be true. Walking through painful times can allow people to find a strength they had not yet known was possible. People often come through tough experiences stronger than they went into them. This definitely isn’t something that happens in a day, a month, or even a year–it is a long and arduous process of facing the hurt, allowing yourself to grieve and then finding ways to live your life while your heart begins to heal.
Brokenness in our lives can not only make people stronger, but can make them more beautiful. A person who has come through hard times in life is often capable of deeper levels of acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and love. There is a profound and indescribable beauty in someone who has walked through a deep pain and is then able to show someone else amazing compassion. Having a friend who is truly able to understand your pain can be an incredible comfort. Being able to see that someone has survived that kind of pain can give hope to one who may be at the beginning of that journey.
If you are in deep pain right now, I hope my words don’t come across as thoughtless or cavalier. I’m not saying any of these things lightly because I, myself, am one who is still in the process of healing and trying to internalize these things. Wherever you are on your journey it is my hope and prayer that you are able to find that strength inside of you, but that you also find people you can lean on when you need it. Whatever you may be experiencing in life, I would encourage you accept the fact that it is not ‘written in sand’, whether it be joy or pain. You can’t always control what may come into your life or what may be taken away, but you can make a choice in how you allow it to change you. I, for one, hope to allow both good and bad times to shape me into someone who is stronger and more beautiful.
Some choose to allow their pain to turn into bitterness and that is a very sad thing to see. My beliefs may be different than yours, but I feel that some help from God is needed to bring true strength and beauty out of pain. In my experience, my own prayers and those of my friends have helped immensely. I am at a point in the process that I can begin to see that I am a stronger and more compassionate woman than I used to be. It is my hope and prayer that you will be able to see the strength and beauty in yourself that pain may have ‘forged’ in your life and that you will find a new or renewed faith in our Heavenly Father/Mother as a result.
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