I was on an exile last week, enduring a set of difficult final exams. Well, by the end of the day, the sun was still shining and I caught my reflection grinning back at me from glass windows of the science building. Finishing off another quarter naturally makes the world look more beautiful to me. I stop to catch maple leaves before they slip helplessly to the ground, and enjoy the crunch, crunch of the dead ones beneath my feet as I hurry home. My heart is lighter, and my mind is busy delighting itself in holiday plans. Well, as far as my holiday plans go, it looks like they are directly proportional to unforeseen disturbances and deliberate excuses (some real and most hypothetical or invented). So this time when I declared that I wanted to go hiking, I did it without any serious expectations.
I was jabbed awake on Saturday morning by my father with a “You said we’ll go hiking!” Sleep was still heavy on my eyelids, but I knew that my sense of self-worth was in serious jeopardy. I’m not the sort of person who likes to get taunted for being fickle-minded. So I shrugged and decided to get ready. It was to be my little Saturday adventure outdoors…I was granted some time to satisfy my whimsical wishes, and I didn’t want to miss such an opportunity.
Well, for that slow trailer such as me, the these trails are quite a task. I don’t complain though, because there’s such a lovely creek which bumbles along with me as I walk, reminding not to take it so hard. This is exactly why I hike—it’s not because I enjoy sweating so much…it’s because hiking makes me feel like I’m blending into this entirely different world. It’s an escape from everything I don’t wish to remember because I become that silent dreamer when I take a walk—I transform into that annoying squirt who shuts into herself and smiles without knowing why. I’m unusually unresponsive, and do look lost. But the truth is, I enjoy every precious moment of that silent experience…dreams swim and take shape, I become calmer, happier and strangely detached. Somehow, loud jokes and cracking laughter destroy that tranquility within me—they are better suited for those special sleepover parties or family get-togethers. Hiking is everything about catching up with yourself, and everything not about mechanically burning calories in my opinion! :D Well, hiking is also about appreciating the little rewards of mild spring days before sweltering summer and another busy quarter come hurrying into your life.
(The sun has been especially cheerful the last week, as you can see!)
I have also done a lot of prodding around on this trail—everything from disturbing that meek little creek to staring at farm sheep. I had stopped by to listen to this old lady’s lecture about poison ivy the last time had hiked but I couldn’t spot the “dangerous plant” this time…looks like the ivy is scared of the spring! Meanwhile, I can feel it getting warmer here, and the skies are growing clearer by the day. There is very little cloud-cover and one feels the urge to star gaze into the depths of the sky. I wished on a star yesterday, as I stared out into the night, hoping for more such pleasant experiences to bring respite to me in the fast approaching hotter summer months. And I still have my fingers crossed!