Thursday, July 19, 2012

It Called Me

google source

Yesterday I knew I needed something, but I didn't know what.

I knew something big was missing in my life.

I hate when I get that feeling.

Yesterday I had it.

I thought about it as I did our laundry.  I thought about it as I straightened things up.  I couldn't quite place my finger on what it was that was missing.  And then, while meditating, I heard them calling.

My Mountains.

I knew I needed to get out and get into them.  So, when I finished with my meditation (a new thing I am trying out), I got the kids ready and we headed up.

We hiked to a waterfall that I had frequented as a teenager.  It was a simple hike.  Lovely, and very easy.

Or so I thought.  I didn't have preschoolers with me as a teen, so it was an easy hike.  Then.

As a teen it usually took me roughly an hour to complete the whole hike.

With the kids in tow, it took me


5 hours

to complete.

But the kids were champions!

We relished everything about our little hike.  The sky was that brilliant sapphire color that always makes me catch my breath.  The sun was hot.  So hot, but there was a blessed breeze blowing around and cooling us.  I am not sure we could have made it without the breeze.  We reveled in the overload of our senses.  That may be the reason I love the mountains so much.

When we first set off, Keith immediately found a walking stick and carried it the whole way. He was the leader.  He loved being the leader, and I loved being able to give him that little bit of pride.  Faye clung to my hand the whole time.  She lacked confidence like mad.  Going over rocks, she would not let go.  I finally had to crowbar my hand out of hers and step back, insisting she try to climb over the rocks.  She didn't like it.  But she learned to climb rocks.  I felt so satisfied in being able to help her overreach her own level of expectations.

Needless to say, we were passed by several times.  One group of guys who passed us made me burst with pride for my kids.  He and his friend saw the kids and I scrambling over some rocks and let out a low whistle.  Not a cat call kind of whistle, but an "I am so impressed" kind of whistle.  He said they were just beginning to feel sorry for themselves but after seeing us were put to shame.  Yeah, my kids are pretty awesome.

But it was a hard hike for the kids.  We were hot.  We were sweaty.  We were tired and hungry and above all thristy.

As I struggled to help Keith and Faye up the rocks, I couldn't believe how lucky I am.  I have such majestic mountains practically on top of me.  My children are developing a love for the mountains as well!  Keith kept telling me how good it was for his heart and lungs to be hiking with me.  He is the expert, you know.  He wants to be a heart surgeon when he grows up.  He told me he was beginning to really like the hike.  It made me so happy to see.  My love for hiking and being in the mountains is rubbing off on my kids.  Smigh.  That is just wonderful.

Eventually we did make it up there.  Of course we stopped many times on the way for water.  But we made it.

It was a little disappointing,

Beautiful as always, but slightly anticlimactic this year.  Quite possibly from the pitiful snowfall Winter gave us.

Keith immediately went up to the pitiful waterfall, took off his shirt and stuck his head in.

Typical Boy.

Faye also took her shirt off, and laid down in the trickle of a stream.  Belly flat on the hard rocks just to get a little coolness.  She made me laugh, but sat up before I could take the picture.

We sat in the shade and the children brought me rocks.  Just like they always do.  Some kids bring flowers to their mother.  My children bring me "the most beautiful rocks ever!" And I accept them with pride, but then try to figure out how I can leave them because a bag full of rocks would not be fun to pack out of the canyon.

We played beneath the mist of the water trickle (because this year it really wasn't large enough to call a fall) for a while more and enjoyed the shade.  

The soulful rejuvenation from our escapade was miraculous!  For the three of us.

Once our treats were consumed and our water was gone, we decided to head back down the mountain.

Going down, surprisingly, was much harder than going up.  The children were tired, and going down loose rocks is harder than going up loose rocks.  Especially when both hands are being clung to by frightened children who think they are going to slip and fall.  I think all of us developed blisters.  It was hard.

The scenery wasn't distracting enough, so to get the kids minds off their feet, and their pain, I decided to tell them stories.

 I began to tell them about William Stimpson who traveled with theMartin Handcart Company and they hardships he and his family had to brave.  William Stimpson is a great grandfather of mine.  Not certain on how many greats back, but he really was Great.  When I finished telling Keith the story, he asked me to tell him another story about the pioneers.  But this time, he wanted one that wouldn't make me cry.  Yes, talking about their hardships always makes me cry.  I can't help it.
The view coming out of the Canyon

Faye, on the other hand would not be distracted from her incessant whining/crying.  She was so tired.  She kept rubbing her head against my hand, and was walking like she was already asleep.  But I couldn't carry her and the bag full of our things, and go down the rocks!  Instead I tried to tell her one of my favorite faerie tales.  Snow White and Rose Red.  She refused to be distracted.

Lucky for us, we were nearly to the bottom, so it didn't matter all that much.

On our way home I learned that McDonald's has $0.25 ice cream cones!  I felt bad going there, because on principal we never eat there.  But seriously, after such a long hike (it was after 7 when we got back to the car!) the kids deserved something.  They had been such troopers, not even complaining until we were on our way back.  Almost instantly after Faye got her ice cream in her hand, she fell asleep.  I pulled the car over and asked Keith to take her ice cream cone from her and give it to me.  Instead he went over to her and sort of rubbed her cheeks to wake her up.  Which she did.  I began driving again, and from the rear view mirror I could see her licking her cone, and falling asleep in the process.  Have you ever seen someone falling asleep with their tongue licking ice cream?  Funniest thing ever!  I told Keith he needed to take her cone again, and her eyes were instantly open and she was enthusiastically licking her cone again.  That girl always makes me laugh.

After eating his ice cream cone, Keith told me he always follows ice cream up with a big mouthful of sunshine.  He holds the sunshine in his mouth until it warms up and then spits the sunshine out when he is outside.  Also, he likes to breathe in a big slice of fresh air every chance he gets.  Such creative words my boy has.  I am so proud.

Needless to say, they slept long and hard last night!

Today we went on a much easier hike.  To the Hollow.  The kids loved it, and again, went to sleep so well.  I have become a huge fan of hiking with the kids.  Or dragging them around and wearing them out.  Either works for me.


Susan Anderson said...

What great memories you are making. And I love reading the things Keith says.


Chantel said...

I love your stories!

Lisa said...

Wow! I'm impressed you would even attempt that with your children! Go you!

Confessions of a PTO Mom said...

We love hiking with our girls. They surprise us with what they can handle! And we always end up having a great time. It's going to be fun in a few years, our brood on the trails!

Emmy said...

So impressed! Yea I don't think I would brave it without Eric to help out. So sorry it was such sad trickle when you finally made it.

Jenny said...

I'm so glad you picked up the phone! ha!