Hiking is a passion, as it allows me to bond with nature and nourish my soul. Recently, I visited Ojai, CA, (pronounced OH-HI) a valley town cradled by the jagged Topa Topa Mountains and the Los Padres National Forest. Stories of the area being known for its spiritual vortex, akin to Sedona, AZ, naturally got my attention. My exploration high into the Ojai wilderness last Sunday was met with a sign from the Universe. (And, I love receiving signs!)
After driving up a serpentine road for ten miles, I reached my initial hike’s destination, the trailhead for Rose Lake Falls. Out of all the nature paths in the vicinity, this was the one I felt as though I was called to do first. No surprise, it only took a few steps for me to begin receiving energy vibrations from this sacred ground, land once protected and nurtured by the Chumash Indians.
“I am meant to be here,” I whispered to myself. “I can feel it.” That’s when I asked for a sign, a validation that I’d been drawn to this wooded utopia. Minutes later, my request was honored.
Approaching the part of the trail that overlooked a 20-foot ravine, I heard voices belonging to three guys resting aside the mountain stream below. Suddenly, I felt a strong connection to the scene, like I knew those people! Then, one of the fellows yelled, “Tony! Hey, Tony! You get down here!” Amazed, I stood frozen! Again, the male voice boomed, “Tony! Can’t you hear me? Come here, Tony!”
Did I know them after all? Clearing my throat, I replied, “Are you talking to me? I’m Tony.”
Laughter erupted from creek bed, followed by an explanation: “Sorry, dude! I was calling for my dog! His name’s Tony too!” A short distance ahead of me on the trail, wagging his tail, was a yellow lab, who’d ventured from his master’s surroundings. I’ve heard many names given to canines (Bogey, Roy, Sam, Riley, Kyle, Rosie, Jasper and Bucky, to mention a handful), but, never once, Tony!
Walking away from the enlightened amusement, I heard the same guy announce, “Hey, Tony! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, man!”
That time, he was definitely speaking to me!
Love and light,