Drawn into any activity because of relationship, I agreed to walk the trails at a county park yesterday with two precious friends. We had a wonderful time chatting, so the three miles seemed as if it were only three feet. Because of the desire to exercise more regularly, we set an early morning walking encore. As I rushed out the door this morning, I felt the slight burn from a blister on my right heel. It’s probably just a bit irritated from yesterday’s walk but I’ll be fine! I reassured myself. Because I was already five minutes late, I didn’t stop to grab a Band-Aid.
We met at Shanthini’s house then hopped into Jill’s car. The destination was one I had never been to and I was excited and grateful to try a new path, be with friends and begin our walking adventure. Wanting to get credit for the miles, I immediately pulled out my iPhone to activate my Nike app so I would track my trek. The automated voice stated, “Beginning work out!”
The canopy of trees overhead shielded the sun a bit, the dark brown mulch of the trail beneath was welcomed padding as we descended the first big decline. My friend said,”Now just remember we’ll have to climb back up this at the end.” This was making reference to a hill at the end of yesterday’s trail we walked. The one Jill referred to as the ” buns of steel” hill.
We walked a short distance on the trail then crossed through some foliage and tall grasses to begin our walk on the “Bug Trail” which is a paved bike path.
We covered these topics and more:
- My tardiness and road construction
- Thoughtful children and birth order
- Avid bikers with biking paraphernalia
- Summer schedules for our group’s prayer time
After about two miles we spied a boardwalk and decided to see where it lead. We realized we had walked into a subdivision and we’re no longer on the trail. We thought maybe a little further on there might be an entrance back so we continued.
We got a little lost, wandered around awhile, but enjoyed walking through the tall grasses. The welcomed coolness on my feet came from the moisture of the morning’s dew. It began to soak into our shoes and I noticed the squishy sound we were making. “Hey, If we get lost, I have enough water in my shoes we could all stay hydrated!” I commented.
We saw one path and walked along it for awhile, but soon realized we may have just been walking through one homeowner’s private field. We exited through another backyard and made our way to the street back to our original exit spot. Rather than chart a new way through the neighborhood, we backtracked to get on Bugs Trail.
I was thankful that I had my iphone because the blister on my foot was beginning to hurt. So instead of focusing on the pain I decided to focus on some wild phlox and used my camera to capture it. Often it is a matter focus, isn’t it?
We can focus on:
- Desired destination
Or we can choose to focus on:
- The adventure along the way
Walking along in shared relationship was sweet. Shanthini teased Jill, speaking about her in third person, “We only got lost because Jill wanted to take the board walk to see where it would lead us!” She joked. We were surprised on a few occasions by a deer that was frolicking through the brush. It was very close to us and shocked me a tad because it jumped past as we startled it. Another deer we spotted from a distance. The adventures along the way of our wanderings brought red winged blackbirds resting on cattails, beautifully intense yellow wild flowers, with a few friendly joggers and speedy bikers mixed in.
Topics of conversation along the route back included:
- Gardening and sales around town on annuals
- Doctors appointments and second opinions
- Speaking engagements and retreat topics
Noticing a park bench up ahead, Shanthini asked to stop there to tie her shoelace. I considered taking my shoe and wet sock off to look at my heel, but decided against it. We pressed on and tried to remember which path would lead us back.
Jill mentioned, “Yeah, I remember passing these waters on both sides.” At last, we found the entrance point we had originally taken to get on the path.” As the hike concluded, a thought struck me…You haven’t written in awhile, Rachel, you need to write a blog post when you get home. “Let’s stop for a selfie here on this bench, I pointed, I’m sure I can get one! I think I going to blog about our hike!” I exclaimed.
“No! Let’s stand up.” Shanthini quickly retorted. “We’ve walked all this way and I don’t want to be seated on a park bench looking like I’ve done nothing.”
I chuckled, “Okay, let me take a picture.” SNAP. SNAP!
Jill said, “Wait! Wait! Take another one, my hair probably looked funny.” I assured her I would use the last photo I took.
“Will I need you guys to sign a waiver?” I asked jokingly. “May I use your photo in my blog post?”
OUCH! My heel did hurt as we made our way back to the car with our soaking feet and smiling faces. I bet I have a blister on my heel and my feet are going to be shriveled up, so my toes will probably look like raisins! Yet even with an unwelcome blister the adventures with these wandering women and wild phlox were a welcomed part of my morning.
I reminded myself and I’ll remind you too its not about the pain, but the precious relationships. It’s not about the duration, but the surprises along the way. It’s not even about the desired destination being reached or miles logged, but the adventure of the unknowns that can be enjoyed.
Yes, when I reached my home I did have shriveled feet and yes, my toes did indeed looked like raisins.
Yes, I did have a blister on my right heel.
BUT when my feet touched the cool tile of my home’s entry, it reminded me of the coolness of the wet fields we had traversed together earlier.
Now, I have a huge grin on my face, a sense of accomplishment in my day, a blog idea, 5 miles logged on the NIKE app…OOPS! (12 miles because I forgot to turn it off so it counted the car ride traveling back.) Silly me! I also have warmth and joy in my heart because of these treasured relationships. And presently, my shoes and socks are on the front porch set in the sunshine to dry.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forever more. Psalm 16:11 ESV