“What just happened?” I asked, as I came to with my head nestled against a desert sage bush. This morning’s mountain hike was certainly one I won’t forget. Perhaps, it’s best that I start at the beginning.
Living in Palm Springs, I’m gifted with ideal weather and vistas for nature hikes, which provide a decent fitness boost and opportunity to meditate. The past few weeks, I’ve gone beyond my standard 3,000 feet elevation trek and veered off the trail upward to another 200 feet. There, I’ve find the perfect perches for my personal reflection time. Today, I wanted to go even higher, nearly 4,000 feet, to a boulder that jetted out to provide amazing views.
Knowing the incline was steep and the air thinner, I asked for a blessing prior to my ascent. “Andrew (my spiritual guide) and God, please watch over me, as I’ve never attempted this before.”
Without a clearly defined trail, I opted for a more straight up route instead of zig-zagging, which would have taken considerable longer. Within minutes, I also discovered that the slower clip would’ve been less of a physical strain, as I felt my heart race faster and my head feel lighter. Periodically, I took breaks to collect my energy and then moved on. It wasn’t until I was about 20 feet from my elevation goal, that I had to stop; my head was spinning madly. I managed to take off my baseball cap and placed it, along with my water bottle, on the ground. Smartly, I crunched down to the earth and rested my head on a large rock seconds before I blacked out.
When that happened, my higher self felt as though it was wrapped in a cocoon of love and safety. No fear. No angst. When I awakened, my noggin, however, was no longer on the stone, it was face-to-face with the sage plant. Still feeling uneasy, I gently lifted my head and upper torso off the ground. My shorts (yes, it was an amazing 75 degrees at 8:30 a.m) and t-shirt were covered in dirt. My left arm had two minor scrapes, the type easily treated with Neosporin and Band-Aids. Realizing my physical body must have slid while I was conked out, I looked behind me up the mountain and noticed a firm indention into the ground about four feet from me. I assumed that’s from where I must have slid.
Thirsty, my next thought was what happened to my water bottle? I didn’t see it in the area four feet above me; I figured that it must have tumbled even further down the mountain. I’d find it on my descent, I thought. For 20 minutes, I remained content and quiet as my body regained a more stable and peaceful composure prior to my scaling back down. When I finally stood up, I remembered that I wasn’t wearing my baseball cap, so, again, I looked back four feet and there was no sign of it there. Then, my eyes glanced another 30 feet further up the mountain and saw my cap and water bottle!
Wow! I didn’t slide four feet; I slid down 30 feet!
I retraced my path – over large boulders and brush – to collect my cap and bottle. I was now puzzled: How could I have slid that far over such terrain and only have two minor scratches? No broken bones. No facial cuts. No bruises. I knew my answer: My spiritual guide and God were with me, providing comfort and guidance, even during my blackout. I was grateful.
Lessons were learned on the mountain today. The shortest route doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best.
And, always ask for a blessing!
Love and light,