Last weekend, my husband and I decided to go for a hike at a state park about an hour away from home. We had all intentions of doing this weeks ago, but things kept coming up to distract us. We were determined not to let that happen again. Saturday’s weather forecast didn’t look so good — cold with rain showers. Not to be deterred we set out anyway.
When we got to the park, the women at the gate looked at the sky, then back at us and said, “You’re sure you want to stay?”
We answered in the affirmative, parked the car, zipped up our rain jackets and set out on the trail we had chosen. The tree-cover mostly shielded us from the light rain and the wet leaves on the ground were vibrant with color. The river near the trail was full and choppy, making it sound almost like the ocean. About halfway through the hike, we ran across the vibrant purple berries pictured above and I had to wonder if they would have stood out so brightly if the day hadn’t been so gray.
That morning before we set out on our rainy adventure, I read an article about taking risks. This one particular image, about what risk looks like after the initial exhilaration of taking the leap into the unknown, really stayed with me:
What lasts is what you find on the other side of risk—the side after you jump, where you land on the rocky ground, sprain your ankle, skin your knee, knock a tooth out, and break your arm. Where you then dust yourself off, look out at the long desert in front of you, and begin to march into the unknown.
I thought about that image while we were on our rainy hike. This idea that those things we really want aren’t always easy to come by. Whether it’s spending time in nature with someone you love or building a career as a writer (or whatever your thing is) – on some level both require commitment, dedication and a healthy dose confidence in the face of discouragement.
Are you sure you want to stay? Yes. Yes I am.