Places I love

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Love in the Lightning

Sometimes a day is needed in which the backpack gets thrown over the shoulders and the hiking shoes get a little dirt on 'em.

Yesterday was that day.

My mister and I had worked really hard the day before and as we drank our coffee and looked outside, the fresh mountain air beckoned to us with a whisper to come and play.  Well, actually, it went more like this...

"Hey Mister, let's get dressed and go for a hike." 

"Hmm. I don't know." My handsome man walked to the railing of the wooden deck, looked out at the mountains, raised his face to the sun and changed his mind. "Ok, I guess I could go for a hike today."

We had been meaning to check out this one park near where we are living, so off we went. We packed our backpacks, I made trail mix, and we made the short drive. This park has trails leading off into all kinds of directions, and we had fun choosing our adventure. Little did we know how adventurous we were actually being. 

About 15 minutes into our hike, we topped a ridge and were met with the pitter patter of rain. It was kind of nice and cooled off what otherwise could have been a warm climb. Then the lightning flashed and thunder rumbled in the distance. We took that as our cue to descend down from the ridge. Mountain bikers and other hikers passed us, some going up, some going down. We wound down this trail and came out in an open space with trails and rock cliffs rising on the other side. The sky was getting darker, the rumbling of the sky a little louder, and the flashing light in the sky much closer. 

My husband calmly looked at my nervous face. "Let's find a place to sit for awhile, drink some water, and wait it out." 

I took off ahead of him making a beeline towards the trees and rock cliffs on the other side of the open space. Surely there would be a nice unoccupied cave for me to climb up into that was not near a tall tree nor too far up the hill.

"Wow, Dear, you can walk fast when you want to."

I stopped and glanced back at my husband who I had apparently left in the dust. His smile made me smirk, but I waited and let him take the lead. As we ducked under branches and headed toward the cliffs, Chris found another trail where we found a rock to sit on for awhile. We pulled our water bottles out and sat down to have a snack. The lightning started to flash much closer and as I looked up, I realized we were sitting under one of the tallest trees this side of the park. My husband wasn't as concerned, he leisurely ate his protein bar while I scooped the trail mix into my mouth like a squirrel on crack.  

This hike was my idea. I love the outdoors and the thought of adventure. I like to hike because I love to be out in God's creation. I get to exercise while enjoying things like animals, the beauty of the mountain landscapes, and the companionship of my husband. I even love to walk in the rain!

But as the dark clouds thickened, I will admit, I kind of started to freak out. I asked my mister if we could try to find some better shelter that wasn't directly under a tree that reached upwards as if to say, "Strike me oh mighty lightning bolt!" The trail seemed to only be leading up higher, so we turned and headed back down off trail. A flash of lightning in front of my mister and an immediate thundering noise stopped me in my tracks. Chris turned to find me frozen in place with hands to my mouth in the panic prayer position. 

"It's ok, Dear."
"Um, yeah!  That lightning was like right in front of you!"
"It's ok, Dear."

He led me down into a grouping of bushes and short trees. Resting his backpack down in a pile of leaves he sat down and I took the perfect rear-end shaped rock next to him. Well, let's be honest, my butt formed to the cracks and crevices, but those who are seeking shelter from electrocution can't be choosy. Anyway, there we sat, not talking, just looking around and up. 

Then the rain really came. Quickly my eyelashes dripped and my pants clung to my skin. Another thunder crash, but this time, it came from behind us. Thank God, the lightning was moving away. I looked over at my husband. He looked so handsome in his hiking hat, leaning in such an unworried manner against his backpack, water running off the brim of his hat. My fear was passing away with the lightning and the peace of a beautiful rainfall took its place. My mister looked at me and smiled and that is when the joy came.  We started to laugh so hard. 

My joy was full. My husband does not like to get wet or walk in the rain, but his smile was huge and his laugh matched mine. We looked ridiculous sitting under the bushes dripping wet!  But, once we knew we weren't going to die, it was so much fun! I risked the functioning of my phone to document a bit for you. You can't see how much it is raining, but you'll get the idea. 


This is the view from my rock.
You can see the open space we had run through to find shelter. 
When the rain stopped, we continued our hike up the rock cliffs. We felt alive!  I mean come on, we were alive, but the adventure of not being sure if we were going to stay alive, and then knowing we would be fine, it just infused us with this fresh life. I guess that is what the good kind of adventures do. 

The rest of the day we spent taking pictures, sitting on a rock ledge and letting the sun dry us, praying, reading, watching birds, talking, and eating trail mix at a normal pace. It was a great day. 

I've included some pictures so that you can enjoy creation like we did. Well, almost. 

It's up to you to go get yourself stuck under a bush in a downpour. Find your adventure this week! There is a lot of beauty to be discovered and enjoyed after, and even during, the storm...thank you Lord for a beautiful place in which to walk.

Blessed for adventure!


You know how when you pee in the woods it always feels like someone is watching you?