Today I decided to venture off on a solo hiking trip hoping to either lose myself or find myself. Now – about three miles into my hike I’m standing on this long wooden bridge that has a built in seat made for two and I remind myself that I’m alone. Looking out over this gorgeous view of the creek that I assume leads into the pond in the prairie that I passed through just a short while ago – the only thing going through my mind is a fairytale wish that a “knight in shining armor” will come down this narrow, secluded, dirt path and into my life. Dream on, I know!
It’s such a beautiful day – a cool fall temperature and sunshine. The perfect day to just be out here allowing myself to feel anything that comes my way. Sitting here eating my lunch with the cool breeze blowing against my face – I know in my heart that there is a reason I ended up here… in this moment, sitting alone on this bridge. Now if only I could see what it is that I’m missing.
I know that I’m on this journey to find myself and ultimately learn how to love myself but, the longing that I have for the love of a man is not going to subside anytime soon. I need to find a way to ignore it until I accomplish the goal of loving myself. Or I need to find a way to just leave this longing here on this bridge, one this seat for two, until the time is right and then I can come back here in the future and pick it back up.
I came here today with the goal of hiking thirteen miles but, I don’t think I’m going to accomplish that goal. I think I was supposed to find myself sitting here – grounding and letting go which is okay because after all, those are bigger goals for my life right now. I’ve been sitting here for the past hour and a half and the only form of life to cross my path is a fuzzy white and black caterpillar who seems to be my new friend. I’m not sure who thinks so more – him or I. I sit here watching him sit there, watching me sit here and I think about how he’s going to someday turn into a butterfly and I realize – that’s what I came here to find.
Butterflies have always been a “symbol” that I closely relate to. As I sit here, waiting for a reason to love myself, I remember that butterflies can’t see their own beauty but, they go on spending their whole lives sharing it with the rest of the world. I wander if this caterpillar (who I have now named Dave) will someday be questioning his own beauty. The thought suddenly crosses my mind that maybe someday I will see him again here on this bridge – in his new form. Pure beauty and grace.
I sure hope so…
…what I hope for even more in this moment though is that I can leave my past on this bridge and continue on this path with the same beauty and grace so that in the future maybe somebody else will find me on this bridge – in my new form. With a smile that shines through my eyes and a fulfillment in my heart that I haven’t felt in a long time, if ever, I continue on my journey and leave this bridge behind me.
Ah… and there it is –
My grace fails me as I trip over a root in the ground. I laugh as I think to myself, “I’ll definitely have to work on that”.