I am so lucky.
I can't believe I am lucky enough tone hiking in this amazingly beautiful place. I can't believe I almost did not.
The Internet forums leading up to this hike were abuzz with dire warnings about the drought and the dangers of hiking the desert- no water, cactus spines, blisters, no water, dust, dirt, more dust, no water, heat, sun, sun burn, sun protection, sunscreen, no water, rattlesnakes, no water, dust and dirt sticking to all that sunscreen, more blisters, no water, water, water. I almost bagged the whole trip.
But I didn't. I decided to take the warnings into consideration, but to go out and see for myself what the desert was all about. I'm so glad I did . Because otherwise I would have missed this:
I would have missed the desert blooming all around
I would have missed the opportunity to share my water with Gary, the Australian hiker who missed the turnoff to the water source
I would have missed losing my sunglasses and when faced with the prospective of hiking 17 desert miles with no sunglasses, finding a pair of sunglasses at the next water source. ( magic and miracles abound!)
I would have missed this:
All these things I would have missed if I had listened to the well meaning but fearful chatter. It's like that at home, too. Think about all the endless fear-based background noise we hear every day, from the radio, the Internet, casual conversations, cable news. It's enough to make you to scared to do just about anything. Instead of going out and DOING, we sit inside and conjure up worst case scenarios that, quite frankly, almost never happen. We talk about how crazy the world has become. We talk nostalgically about how things used to be better. We call the police if our neighbors let their kids play outside.
Just imagine how different things would be if we stopped listening to the negative chatter and just decided to see for ourselves.
So let's try this: tomorrow, turn off the news. Don't go on Facebook. Don't check the newsfeed on your computer. Don't watch E or look at People magazine.
Instead, go outside. Walk barefoot in the grass. Put your hands in the dirt. Turn your face up to the sun. Feel the rain on your bare skin. Let the wind mess up your hair.
Think about all the things you have wanted to do and ask yourself "why not?"
And then, because you know it to be true, say to yourself
I am so lucky!