Yesterday, I decided to escape the city for a while and go for a hike. I took the dog and headed off into Mount Falcon Open Space . I had the best intentions of spending an hour or so then heading back to my desk and back to the computer. Carefully, I plotted out the most efficient route.
And promptly got lost. In my defense, the critical junction was covered in a foot of snow. It was impossible to see where the trails went so we followed a set of recent, but snowed on, foot prints. Three hours later we stumbled out to the car.
The hike was glorious. We saw deer and eagles. We watched the birds dance together in the sky. My dog ran back and forth from place to place as she uncovered exciting new smells and interesting terrain. We were almost completely alone among the ponderosa pines. It was so quiet and beautiful. The beauty alone took my breath away. On one side of the mountain, it must have been 60 degrees, when the other side was covered in at least a foot of snow. It was an amazing experience.
Throughout the hike, I struggled to stay present using all of the Open Grove tricks - focus on your breath, let go of thoughts, and on and on. It was so easy to get caught up in the drama of being lost, taking too long hiking, or not being in control. Yet, all that mattered was happening right in front of me - the birds, deer, my dancing laughing dog, breathless vistas, and muffled silence of the pines. When I was able to let go enough to be present and trust that everything works out, I had a fabulous time. Getting lost was the best thing that could have happened yesterday.
When I returned, I finished everything that I needed to and even had time to have dinner with a good friend. I got lost, let go of control, and trusted that it would all get done. I think that's an experience of grace.
I hope you have a chance to get lost this week. It's well worth the journey.