Just as I though I was finding some equilibrium in late June, early/mid July swept in with a vengeance to remind me of my weakness, my heartache, my emotional exhaustion.
Apparently my physical body had recovered from the school year’s fatigue just enough to make room for my heart to know its own weariness.
Yes, those of you who regularly read my blog know that David and I suffered our second miscarriage of this year in June. Yes, many of you know that I lost my grandfather to cancer in April. And, yes, most of you know of my 3+ year journey through infertility.
Add to that uncertain finances and three more years of schooling for David.
The weight of what is has added to the weight of what is not. I’m bowed over.
Still, I’ve been drawn into the presence of my Savior. Still, I’ve fallen more deeply in love with my incredible husband. Still, I give thanks for sweet friends who walk with me, pray with me, drink coffee with me, and hike (literally) with me.
It’s been a summer of mountains.
A summer of new perspectives.
I cling to the dream that the answer is just around the upcoming bend, and…I know that I’m not alone.
Walk with me if you wish. Journey up and around trails that lead to surprising revelations and unexpected views. Sweat and toil with me in hope of a new perspective. My heart still climbs even as my feet tuck themselves wearily in bed tonight.
For a round-trip near home (wonderful for days that my gas tank couldn’t quite handle too much travel), I found myself following the twists and turns of Apex Trail from the trail head at Heritage Square. The two hour hike flaunts breathtaking views of both hidden mansions in the hills behind Heritage Square and wide open plateaus looking toward Denver. The trail is a “Golden” gem for average enthusiasts and die hard mountain bikers (make sure to listen for their warning calls as they speed past). For me, I simply found a morning retreat in the company of several wonderful friends to process the ifs, the thens, and the maybe-nots.
Perhaps one of my all-time favorite hikes begins off the red dirt road winding through Eldorado Canyon State Park. Although the $8 parking fee is somewhat of a turn-off, the sound of pounding water below the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail soothes a heart in turmoil. David and I welcomed the beginning of summer with an early-morning Saturday hike (that included views of the Continental Divide) with a 4-mile trek through pungent pines and up rocky inclines. Perhaps David’s favorite part of the outing was our jaunt to the Boulder Farmer’s Market afterward to enjoy the food trucks and vendor samples. It is hard to rival fresh cheeses and freshly brewed coffees after an appetite-inducing adventure 🙂 We didn’t even try!
An even newer trail system that a friend and I (accidentally) stumbled upon this summer is in Deer Creek Canyon. Both Plymouth Creek and Plymouth Mountain trails offer moderately steep uphill climbs and unique vantage points of the Colorado plains. Sunscreen and plenty of water is definitely recommended, as the exposed trails offer over two hours of sunburning opportunity. Butterflies flit over hardy flowers, blooming despite the heat and unwelcoming terrain. Beauty boasts its strength even in struggle.
A final trail worth mentioning this evening leads to a surprising mountain stream known as Maxwell Falls. When rain is more plentiful, a stronger waterfall bursts through the crevices of boulders wedged in the shadows of tall conifers. This week my toes enjoyed a COLD, but refreshing dip in the chilly water before once again donning socks and shoes for the hike back to the lower trail head. Thanks to poorly marked trails, a dear friend and I took several “detours” that added to the difficulty. Yet, overall, the Evergreen hike was easier than expected, but still provided a perfect excuse to stop in the quaint town for a delicious almond milk tea latte (known as a cambric) and a pre-packed lunch.
My friend summed it up perfectly: “When people hike, they are happy. I love it.”
So true…when we hike…toil...persevere…we find joy. Joy in unexpected crevices. Joy in products of pain.
I’m not there yet. Joy is still beckoning me higher. Still, I climb.
Thanks for sharing, Lauren. We love you so much & continue to think of you and David often.
That quote your friend made can be meant metaphorically too I think. I have done a lot of “hiking” in my life – struggling with depression for years, a divorce, infertility. And every time while I’m enduring it I feel like it surely will never end – a hike that is only uphill with little repreive. But when I do come out on top to enjoy the view and the end result of all the struggle I find that I wouldn’t take the journey back if I could. It got me where I am today. It has made me who I am. Your hike, no matter how hard, has made you an incredible strong person. I hope that you find the top of the hill with the amazing view soon,
Oh thank you! With a cup of coffee in hand this morning, I was thinking about that. I’m tired of hiking, but the view better be pretty amazing one day! Thanks for your encouragement. Following your blog constantly makes me laugh and inspires me to keep going