Hiking Log – Balance…
This is part 15 of excerpts from the trail log which was located on a New York portion of the Appalachian trail. For the post which explains this series, click here. Each new edition includes a quote from a hiker, along with this writer’s insight into what the person might have meant. Your interpretation may be different!
Following is my selection of this week’s thoughts of a hiker.
April 24, 2016
Stunning weather. Trees turned green while we took a nap by the lake. We saw an eagle! And dreamt of work-life balance. Will come again!!
A quick google search for weather information shows that April 24, 2016 was indeed a “stunning” weather day. It was a beautifully sunny day, with temperatures near 70 and a light northerly wind. Average temperatures in April are usually somewhere around 50, so our hiker must have known this day was a treasure.
There may have been a bit of exaggeration in the second sentence but perhaps not! It does seem sometimes as though trees all of a sudden bloom in the Springtime. They get a red fuzzy look for a while, and then the leaves pop open. And I’m sure temperatures in the high 60s could assist that process. Regardless, to this hiker, it felt as though the trees all of a sudden burst with color.
Not only was the hiker enjoying the weather, naps and blooming trees, but he saw an eagle. If you haven’t seen one before, they are truly magnificent. There are some bald eagles in our area, and they can have bodies that are about three feet in length with wingspans of up to 90 inches (7 and a half feet). Can you imagine watching and listening to one as it flaps its wings in flight above you? As each wing pushes down, the air moves; if they are low enough, you can just feel the movement. If they are close enough, you can hear it. And if they are high up, you can just watch in amazement.
But the most interesting part of this hiker’s thoughts, to me, was “And dreamt of work-life balance.” Taking a hike in the woods eliminates worldly distractions. No computer, a turned off cell phone (a must!) and no TV leaves hikers with only two things to pay attention to: their surroundings, and their thoughts. I often find I can noodle through any issue I need to resolve, and end the hike with an answer or at least a next step.
I think this hiker must have a very busy life; connecting with nature helped him to see that; and helped him to desire a better balance. Balance between work and the rest of life is something many of us struggle with, attempting to get it right. And if it’s something you think about fixing, then the balance is still not where it needs to be.
So I’m thankful this hiker was able to spend some time contemplating his life on April 24, 2016. He enjoyed the weather, the newly green trees, the sounds and sights of an eagle, and was able to tilt his balance a little more towards life.
For more thehousekat.com Hiking-related posts, click here.