this summer has been a little bit of a roller coaster ride. it’s been a mix of extreme highs and lows, and it seems to have flown by. and as the calendar approached august, i started to get nervous and overwhelmed. i was supposed to lead a week long hiking trip for work in canada. there are worse things, of course, than having to go hiking for work. but i didn’t want to be away from the little lady for so long, the idea of being out of the office was stressful, and i just wasn’t emotionally ready to be ON for an entire week, leading this adventure travel trip for a group of people i have never met.
i will spare you the details of the days leading up to the trip, but let’s put it this way: i was batshit crazy. the roller coaster of the summer had taken its toll. then my camera broke. THEN my cell phone broke on the way to the airport. yeah, yeah, yeah, first world problems. however, when you are responsible for people’s lives in the backcountry of canada, you want a damn cell phone in the event of an emergency.
after arriving in canada (and spending a ridiculous amount of time fighting with the cell phone insurance company, on an airport pay phone), i put on a happy face and greeted the large group of participants that had congregated at our meeting spot in the terminal. i didn’t have a choice – i was responsible (along with my co-leader) in coordinating an amazing adventure for them, and all my emotional baggage needed to be checked at customs.
what occurred over the course of the week was nothing short of amazing. my co-leader and i worked very well together. our group was super fun and patient and a pleasure to get to know on the trails. and the hiking in canada. oh canada. you are something. i had heard so much about this area, and it did not disappoint. my only regret is that i didn’t have my “real” camera to capture the majestic beauty.
so, after all is said and done, the trip was probably exactly what i needed. i needed to get back in the field and lead, remember how much work it is, and how rewarding it can be. i needed to get to know new, inspiring people. i needed to spend hours and hours outside, appreciating nature and feeling renewed in my work. i needed to swim in the water running off a glacier in one of the most beautiful places on earth – to win a bet, yes. but even more so, to feel alive.
“. . . i feel a dizzying lightness as i look out at the land below us. is this what i’ve missed? the stars have come to the earth, and the ocean has turned over the ground; dark waves meet the sky. they are unmoving, barely visible but for the light of the sun rising behind them. mountains, i realize. . . the earth reflects the sky and the sky meets the earth and, every now and then, if we’re lucky, we have a moment to see how small we are.” ~ ally condie, reached