On Christmas day everything in town closed, so we packed lunches in preparation for our hike through our woods. Last year, the guys hiked to the waterfall at the bottom of the mountain, but I stayed behind with the dog. I was too tired or maybe just wanted to be alone for awhile; I can't remember which. This year however I decided to join the guys for the moderate hike all the way down.
Thank God I listened to my dry hands when they cried out for protection and demanded I wear gloves. My mighty gloves served as shields against the thorns, sharp twigs and unusual bugs I found along the way. Nonetheless, my delicate hands, once accustomed to warm weather and mild tap water, blistered quickly and after a few days of hiking with a walking stick my palms now resemble sandpaper. My hands no longer look or feel so pretty, but the dry cold air has done wonders for my skin, especially my face. My feet on the other hand have been quite fortunate due to my faded and worn yet very sturdy and comfortable hiking boots. In fact, I have grown very attached to the light brown leather on my feet, so much so that I prefer wearing these boots more than I do sneakers. Recommendation: Always wear a great pair of comfortable, waterproof and sturdy boots if you are hiking. Your feet will thank you...
I truly enjoyed the hike through the woods, exploring the hidden trails and small caves, or examining the variety of trees and plants, bugs and birds. And while my youngest frantically dug in search of precious gems buried underneath the ground, I hugged a large old tree as I stood quietly listening to what it said. And while my husband and oldest son glided through the air from hill to hill, from trail to trail effortlessly and without fear, I moved slowly trying very hard not to fall. After some teasing from the guys, I turned and said, "Not bad for a gray haired woman from the city," and I proudly continued on my way.
The moment we arrived at the falls and I smelled the moisture in the air and heard the flowing water, I felt great peace. It was a cold and perfect morning. Although my body endured minor cuts and scrapes, it was all worth it.
However.....I am still trying to forget the hike back up. Oh how I prayed to the Lord along the way asking him to give me strength. He did. When I reached the top and placed my right boot over a small hill of red mud, I exhaled and thanked the dragon for allowing me to ride.
Chapter 2: To Ski or Not to Ski...That is the Question