Last week my husband and I decided to book a last minute escape to the mountains. It had been a busy month and we were eager to experience a bit of peace before the work routine began again. So, we found a hotel with a beautiful view of Roca Forca, had a lovely evening meal there and awoke the next day ready to take on the challenge of a long hike.
We found a four-hour circular route and set off along a narrow path sheltered from the summer heat by trees. Tiny pine cones lined the path as if they had been placed there on purpose to mark the route and the path was softened by a carpet of dried pine needles. A cool breeze eased our way and I tried to walk mindfully, focusing all my senses as I kept up a steady pace. The scent of pine, the warm air in my nostrils, the heat on my skin…
When we came to a fork in the path with a sign pointing uphill towards a viewing point my husband consulted the map and said that that was the route we should take, so off we went up a steep incline which shouldn’t have been far but seemed never ending. My calves ached, I felt hot and frustrated, annoyed that we had taken a wrong turn. At one point I felt that I couldn’t make it to the top. I felt overwhelmed. But then I remembered that I could try to experience this pain rather than fight it. I could marvel at the fact that my body could get up the hill at all. I felt the tension begin to ease and I continued with determination and calmness to the very top.
We were greeted by an amazing 360-degree view, well worth the climb. From there we could just make out the route we should have taken far away in the valley below. Yes, it would have been easier, but would not have been half as rewarding. I felt great knowing that the hard work had been worthwhile.
Life is so often like that. When we are in the midst of pain, frustration and difficulty it is often hard to see our destination. But when we arrive we know that the struggle was worth it. Sometimes we just need to trust in the journey.