I hope this Sunday brings sunshine and centering into your life. My daughter called and suggested we go for a hike in Blydenburg park. I’ve grown up on Long Island, and recently discovered all the beautiful, secluded parks, gardens and arboreteums that I have never visited. I love the beach and ocean, but, hidden and tucked all around me, are breathtaking, serene places of beauty. My mental bucket list is overflowing with places I have never discovered. The key word here is Nature. Discovering the beauty that God has made. Exploring and allowing yourself to get lost for a little while. It is a proven theory that walking, reduces stress and depression. The fresh air and cardio, increase good endorphins. Serotonin, I need you! As summer closes and autumn stirs, I feel my whole being shift. Two years ago, I wouldn’t dare consider hiking or walking. I was obese, a heavy smoker, basically, unable and unwilling to even try. I had no motivation. I used to be a “sitter”, I sat a lot, rarely stood up. That and planning an afternoon nap, I did that often. Anything that required physical movement was shunned. I was the girl who drove around a parking lot, continuously, for the closest possible parking space to the store. I don’t remember walking more than a block, anywhere. When I did, I ached for days. Every joint, muscle, hurt. Honestly, I never could envision Leelee hiking anything, I could barely lift myself to sit on a stool. A few years ago, I read an article about Wynona Judd. She had recently lost weight, and shared her journey. She wrote how she found the “woods” behind her home in Tenneesee. She started to walk in them, reflecting, praying, walking. She discovered how much she enjoyed it. She continued daily and slimmed down considerably. She talked about the serenity, the quiet, the simple Joy and beauty around her. It stuck in my head, long, long, ago. Yesterday, I was channeling Wynona. It was purely beautiful. Cool temps, changing leaves everywhere, quiet brooks, clear carved paths of beauty all around us. We chatted the entire time, my beautiful daughter, sharing her heart, her dreams, happy and joyful I see her and her heart is good. She is good medicine for her Mama. She gently pushes me to move forward. She listens and understands my grief, my worries, my heart. She finds simplicity, beauty in every turning leaf, a red mushroom! (she squished it? Why?). We follow the wood planked path to paradise. Who built that? Amazing! I notice, I am not winded, I don’t feel tired. We climb and twist and discover the beauty of this nature preserve, a hidden gem, God’s land. We run into a man on his Black Stallion. (No, this is for reals), the most magnificent horse to see. I speak gently and suddenly, I am petting and loving this massive creature! The stallion stares at me, allows me to say hello. Quite “the moment” eh? I comment to my daughter, I feel like I am in a Nicholas Sparks novel! We write the next chapter together & giggle. We arrive at the lake. You could say for sure, it’s very “On Golden Pond”. This lake has many white swans, truly like a painting. She photographed and played with her camera, it was so good. We decide to take another trail back. (No map…umm, no). So we hike, follow the lake around and I feel great. I feel blessed, lucky, healthy, loved. She is a smart young woman, my Danni. She is learning how to fill the soul, feed the brain, truly brilliant.
Well, so, that other path we took, umm, totally, not so GPS’d. We wound up on the horse trail, which leads out to the residential street! Ooops, we walked, and walked and ran into the horseman from the trail. He pointed us out of the streets and back to the woods. Quite the detor, we both took it in stride. Ahem, except for a minor leelee mishap, (shhhh, DD), we found the entrance and had a good laugh! This is the healing, the journey. These are the steps that connect the dots in your mind. Quiet the negative. This is how we move forward, let go and let God. We made plans to return soon and hike the other side, a new path, discover the other magical spots on the lake. I look forward to that. I rejoice in finding gratitude and thankfulness again. Go discover a hidden gem in your neck of the woods today! You’ll be glad you did. Thank you for stopping by. Ciao ~ leelee