I’m the first to admit, I am somewhat directionally challenged. Actually that is a lie; the truth is, I am very directionally challenged. Whether I’m driving, walking, biking, or hiking, I often find myself lost: disoriented, traveling in circles, and adding extra miles to the trip back home. Yesterday’s hike was a perfect example of one such adventure!
It was a beautiful afternoon so I decided to go for a short hike before I set off to spend a relaxing afternoon on the beach. I had my sneakers, water bottle, hat, and FitBit so I was ready to head out on a new-to-me trail which was not far from home, very well-marked and being enjoyed by other hikers and cyclists with the same idea. I parked my car, glanced at the map, and set off. (Did I mention I’m also missing the special brain cell required for map reading?)
I followed the main trail which was categorized as “Easy”, looping off occasionally onto sections marked “more difficult”, to add to the challenge and adventure. It was beautiful and the mosquitoes were not hungry, as long as I kept moving! I went along for about 45 minutes at which point I expected the trail would start looping back to my starting point. This was not the case and instead, it brought me to a road I didn’t recognize nor was it where I had left my car. Now, what did that map say? Didn’t really pay attention? Hmm, not such a good idea I suppose. But no harm done; I simply turned around and started following the trail signs for the “Main Trail”. Surely this would take me back to my starting point. Right? Well, thirty minutes later, I was still looping around the “Main Trail” and imagining how embarrassing it would be if I had to call for help. “Hello, Emergency Services? I’m lost. No, not far from home. Where? Well, I’m not sure exactly but there is a map by my car. How old am I? I’m not telling you my age! Am I okay? Yes I’m fine unless you consider mosquito bites to be life threatening. Can I keep walking? Well I suppose so but I already have my 10,000 steps today so it’s not really necessary. Maybe I should anyway? Okay, you are the expert. Come soon though. I really do need to get back to my car as soon as possible. Well, no it’s not exactly an emergency but I would really like to finish this amazing book I’m reading. Hello? Hello? Oh, they must be on their way. ”
No, I would not be calling emergency services or anyone else. I knew I was in no real danger and I just needed to put my active imagination on hold, follow the signs, and trust they would lead me out. I kept walking and even asked some cyclists and another hiker if I was heading in the direction of the main parking lot. They weren’t sure; nor did they seem at all worried. Maybe they knew something I didn’t know? I kept walking, said a few prayers for good measure, and, two hours after leaving for what I thought would be an hour-long walk, I came out of the trees and saw my car. It was a beautiful moment. As I ran joyfully towards the waiting arms of my soon-to-be coolly air-conditioned car, I’m sure I heard the music to Rocky being sung by a lovely choir of angels as they glided over the treetops, celebrating my triumphant return. It was so beautiful! Too much imagination you think? Maybe it was actually the contented buzzing sound as hundreds of mosquitoes laughed uproariously and licked their lips as yet another directionally challenged Islander headed home from Saturday brunch? Yes, that certainly is another possibility.
Moral of today’s story: Travel with bug spray, keep a sense of humor and remember, some things may not warrant an emergency call but prayer is always an option.
Love and blessings,
Women in Recovery Everywhere