When my husband and I first started dating, a few moons ago, he took me hiking in his homestate of Arizona. I was intrigued; the mountains in the desert are so different than the rolling hills of California where I grew up. Excited to climb to the top and chatting the whole way; I wasn’t really paying attention to how far up we had gone or exactly how steep it was.
After a picnic lunch, it was time to head back down. My husband started easily down the mountain and I was trailing behind him, calculating every step I took. I was certain that each step I took would result in me performing some fantastic somersault down the mountainside. As much as I hated to, I had to keep asking him to wait, slow down, wait. After what must have felt so painstakingly slow to him, I hear him gently chide me,
“C’mon Twinkle Toes…
We went hiking yesterday, to one of my favorite places on earth where open expanses of granite are punctuated by trees, waterfalls, lakes, boulders and of the course the wide open sky.
Each year, we never know what we will find here, it all depends on how much rain and snow we got the previous winter. Since it was a fairly dry winter last year, the falls that are normally roaring, were just a trickle this summer, giving us an all access pass to this playground nature created.
As we hiked up and down and all around, Twinkle Toes was out in all her glory [I should have a hiking shirt made ….. with Twinkle Toes emblazoned across the front…and why am I only just now thinking of this?].
Even though I am familiar with the trail and the area, I found myself tip-toeing through the terrain, taking my own sweet time.
At each step of the way, I found myself scanning and assessing, searching intently for the best route, for me. My husband is more the hop-to-it hiker, moving swiftly and easily from rock to rock, while I make my moves more intentionally. I want to be sure that where I put my foot will hold steady, will give me the most secure footing. I want to move forward along the trail, not downward! I will often take a slightly longer route to be sure that I will land on solid ground, that I can trust the earth to support me.
In the quiet of the day, I found myself thinking about my twinkle toes in a new light. I realized that how we scamper over the rocks can mimic life in a way; some of us jump right into situations, while others watch, wait and listen; some speak and then think, others hem and haw before a word comes out. Some wear their emotions on their sleeve, others require quiet time to reflect and figure out their feelings. I know that I often feel the need to observe before I engage and need to reflect before I share, but I know that this is not the way for everyone. Sometimes I envy the ways of others, and how they make it look so easy, so swift; and sometimes it’s the other way around. We all have a lot to learn from one another.
Some of us are rock-hopping hikers through life, others among us are twinkle-toes looking ahead to make sure the footing is secure and safe; and I realized that no matter how we make our way along the trail, that even if the ground is wobbly, most of us are strong enough at our core to counterbalance the wobble, and insightful enough to know when to trust ourselves to risk the shaky step or look ahead and find a different route.
The best part? There is no one right way; we all get there in our own time and our own way; hopefully teaching others as we go.
.And does it really matter how we get there, if we find ourselves with companions who wait, slow down and enjoy the rewards along the way? 🙂