There is nothing better than a fall hike in the mountains with clear blue sky, changing colors and dear friends. I was the fortunate one who had that opportunity on Friday. I was in a terrible mood, had a difficult and exhausting week, and as one of them said, I needed them. Just expressing my frustrations out loud to good listeners made a huge difference. Naturally, it was just the beginning of processing what my current anger was bouncing against from childhood's experiences. It also brought up how I have created and/or supported the situation that now seems too much--how easy it is for me to let my creative work go to support others.
Now for fall's colors. They were and are stunning--yellows, golds, and a touch of red here and there. Our hike took us from Glacier Gorge (RMNP) past Alberta Falls where the waterfall photo was taken. We usually thread our way through the photographers there and move on with our hike (since this is early on the trail to many other favorite places). This time it was worth the challenge to get color and water together in a frame. Earlier in the hike we walked through and under the golden Aspens shown above.
Not all of the forests we hiked through were golden. The part of the trail that was most challenging wound through a forest that was at times mystical and often shrouded with pines, absent aspens that bring fall color. Since we were making a loop, this part of the trail wasn't familiar. Isn't that like life?! Some parts of our journeys are so familiar, so comfortable, maybe too comfortable. Other parts feel foreign.
How could I have stuffed all that anger deep inside? Why did I think that little Margaret, as I refer to my childhood self, was stoic so early in life? Anger is energizing--and also exhausting. It hurts in my guts. I can't tell how long (years) it took for me to quit fighting back with Dad. We could at least sometimes talk. Since Mother couldn't remember the meetings or her angry words, there was no resolution. I often focused on trying to help her, trying to make her feel better. I also tried to protect my heart from her angry words, hurled like arrows aimed to pierce. Eventually, limiting time spent visiting seemed the only way.
As I open my heart easily to nature's beauty, I can recall storms--blinding rain that obscured the highway, the tornado that chased us to the basement, snow piled too high to drive through, shivering cold. Much of life is beautiful too. The storms come and go. Living from our hearts lets in pain that might be repelled. It also opens us to love and beauty that are Divine gifts, gifts that can only be experienced fully from our hearts.
Enjoy fall's colors as they come, wherever you are. Look for life's beauty in small ways. Enjoy the moment. I'm thankful for the gift of friends who provide beauty in my life, whatever the season!