Should I wear boots?
No. It’s spring! The ice should be melted.
We make our way up the mountain, along the windy roads, singing along to the “Wake Up Happy” playlist Spotify created especially for us. What a Saturday. What a weekend. What a relief to have some time in nature, time away from our busy work schedules, cell phones and pressures of life, and time to connect.
We pull up to the parking lot, and I snap a picture “pre-hike.” It’s a good thing I did too because the smile on my face was about to be wiped away when I saw the trail we were about to set out upon.
I knew I should have worn boots.
Yeah…guess we needed them.
Our feet were sinking. sinking. sinking into the sludgy, icy, melting snow, and I was not a happy camper.
Will it be like this the whole way?
Yeah…probably, Babe. But, bright side? It’s warm outside! (35)
We trudged along a bit further, complaints rolling off my tongue. I would take a step and sink up to my knee in snow, then slip and slide the next several, slosh around the following few steps…it was all so unpredictable. It was this unpredictability that made it such a slow trek. Then we reached a narrow uphill path with a drop off on the side that led to an icy river. It was not very high- honestly, my intellect told me:
Abigail, if you were to fall down this path, you would be fine, even if you landed by the river.
But my instincts told me:
STOP MOVING. FREEZE. DON’T TAKE ANOTHER STEP. and if all else fails CRY.
I went with my instincts.
Babe. Are you ok? Are you crying? It’s ok. We can turn around if you want to. What are you afraid of exactly? Falling? The Ice? The River?
What was I afraid of? The natural elements surrounding me? Or was it something inside of me?
I stood- paralysed in the snow. I was crying, trembling, but I could almost feel myself wanting to laugh at the situation:
Seriously Abigail: you have been walking around in the snow for like 6 months now, you have slipped AND fallen, what makes this different?
What made this different was control.
With every step I took, I was knowingly letting go of control. On that Mountain, every step was a surprise, a slip, and a potential fall. This struggle for control is my constant- it crops up in the most unusual places and I have to make a conscious decision every time to release or hold onto it- or it will overwhelm me.
I can find myself obsessing over lists, my job, my relationships, my body, my life, and before I know it my little world will crash if I don’t have control over all of the details. I don’t think that all control is dangerous- in fact, I consider it a strength in some areas of life- but when it literally stops me from walking I know I need to re-evaluate.
I just stood there and looked at my feet then back at Jason.
No- I want to keep going.
Just to give over that piece of control to the hike, allowed me so much joy when I reached the top.