A few summers ago I found my lost soul amongst the trees and terrain of a wonderful place called Waldo Canyon. Nestled along the side of a mountain pass, it was here that I cracked open.
Today, I watch with great sadness as this beautiful canyon has erupted into a devastating forest fire that has become a state of Colorado tragedy and number one priority. Within this wrath are hundreds of homes, small communities, and life. While I spend much of the day watching with anticipation of the events of the fire, I am filled with such a deep sadness.
I can see the trail in my memories and the spots that were my favorites; the descent into the meadow where one day in June a few years ago I stood with my black Lab crying and screaming out loud at the dysfunction of my life, the creek that cooled my dogs paws, the raspberries deep within the canyon, the fallen tree, the outcropping of rocks that I rested upon, the opening of trees that revealed a view that could take your breath away, the hairpin turn where you could easily miss the trail, the enormous rock.
Step after step my dog and I walked and explored. While she explored her outer world, I explored my inner world. It was here that I shed layers of pain and developed a sense of self. I discovered within myself a powerful voice. Each day that I took on those 6.5 miles, I found something more within myself that I did not know was there. I became empowered.
At that time, the trees and the bushes were so alive. There was not a day that I would not see a few deer. The squirrels that my dog chased while the birds sang. All vibrantly alive.
Today I look to the west and see that sacred space known as Waldo Canyon in a different way. Today it is the fire that is so alive. And yet, within my heart, the memories are just as alive.
I am reminded today about the impermanence of life. I am grateful for the day in the meadow when the trees tenderly embraced me as I cried and shouted to the world for answers. I am grateful for the miles on the trail. I am grateful for the love.