You are hiking. With each step, your boots crunch over a layer of freshly fallen leaves strewn about the forest. The leaves are orange, yellow, and red, and they shine in the sunlight all around you. The autumn air is brisk and clean.
As you hike, your mind wanders. Reflecting on life. Wondering about love. About the future and the past. You are hiking and thinking. Thinking and hiking alone in the wilderness, and it is a beautiful autumn day.
The colors of the leaves swirl among sunbeams, creating an enchanting mosaic of natural brilliance. You smile and open your eyes to focus on the world around you.
The scenery looks different. Unfamiliar. A new thought enters your mind.
Where am I?
You haven’t strayed from your path. You haven’t made any turns or detours, yet you can’t remember the last time you saw a trail marker.
Am I still on the trail?
You pull out your map and scan the area. You could be here. Or here. Or here. Hmmm. Your heartbeat quickens just a bit. Your mind starts to reel ever so slightly.
Did I miss something?
You decide to push forward. Maybe you’ll see a trail marker in the next few yards. With this set intention, you hike, hike, hike. As you hike, the trail gains elevation and loses elevation. The tail narrows and widens through dense brush and past tall trees. The trail remains unfamiliar.
Where am I?
Where are you? You push and you wait and you wonder and you wander. Until finally, a sign, seemingly sent from the heavens, is before you. Your heart leaps and your eyes smile at the sight of a pure white strip of paint precisely bestowed upon a wide oak tree. The trail marker. A sigh of relief.
I am here.
You have been on the correct trail all along. You worried and struggled and believed to have lost your way when in reality, you were never lost at all. As you worried, your focus transferred from life’s beauty to the discomfort of the unknown. You began to doubt your path, your intention, yourself.
Trust. Trust yourself. Trust life. And keep hiking in the direction in which you feel called. You’ll find your way, eventually. In the meantime, open your eyes to the colors and beauty transpiring around you, moment by moment.
And enjoy the hike.