Noise

Morning dawns as I pour my first cup of coffee and wander outside to enjoy what only can be enjoyed at this hour on this day.
Songbirds sing, hummingbirds viciously fight over drops of sweet nectar, and the breeze brings a waft of recent rain, pine, and meadow grasses.
Peace interrupted by the slicing blades of a helicopter and car traffic in the distance.
Such is my mind; a blissful calm until the noise of life begins to blare .

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List of Gratitudes

I have been challenged by fellow blog buddy over60hiker to make a list of gratitudes for 2016.

There is not much time left in 2016, so here goes some random and spontaneous thoughts.

I am thankful for my co-blogger and editor-in-chief, Dee. Without her this blog would not exist. Perhaps my eagerness to find adventure would have been mediocre, if not for the desire to have something to blog about!

The first thing that comes to mind is gratitude for this amazing universe created by God. I sense His presence and handiwork surrounding me and causing me to be awestruck. “For you will go out with joy, and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” That about sums it up.

Gratitude is not taking anything for granted. It’s amazing how often I find myself doing just that. I’m reminded when something as simple as a broken hand, brings to the forefront how useful that hand was! There is always something to be grateful for. In certain seasons of life it might take more effort to see, but it is there. For me, even taking a walk will give me multitudes of things to be grateful for. I  open my eyes and ears and my soul fills with gratitude.

New friendships add a whole new dimension to my life! I love meeting new people and getting to know them, and sharing life with them. Family and long time friends are proof that I can be myself and still have friends! Haha! Seriously, it’s a gift to have friends walk along side me in this crazy journey called life: To encourage, to listen, help, set me back on track, hug, be silly, be adventurous, be vulnerable, and it’s also a gift to return those things to my friends as well.

Gratitude for doubts; for those lead to questions, which leads to seeking answers, which ultimately helps you end up where you are supposed to be. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in 2016, but feel I’m becoming more grounded and secure.

This year I’ve conquered many fears, built confidence, and am finding joy being restored.

2016 has reminded me how fragile life is, how being fully present in each moment alleviates my mind and heart from wandering, how it is definitely more blessed to give than receive.

2016, you’ve been a year of learning and growing. A year of changes. Another year enjoying the great outdoors, new friends and the richness of long time friends and family. Thank you.

2017, I’m looking forward to the surprises and challenges you’re going to bring.

Karen

Heart or Mind

I wonder which is more important when one is trying to accomplish a big goal? Does one’s heart need to be so committed, so passionate, so emotionally invested, so obsessed that it drives one to completion of what’s been started? Or is it one’s mind that needs to be set, focused, prepared, stubborn, able to logically overcome and solve any obstacle encountered along the way?

I’m really hoping the heart turns out to be the winner. My heart tends to lead me.. It all starts with a passion to pursue something. Whether hiking, biking, photography, cooking, exercise routines, backpacking, or even relationships.. my heart sets my course. I tend to throw my entire self into whatever it is I’m pursuing. Perhaps to the level of obsession, but never quite reaching the level of expertise in any one area.

I suppose that’s why I find hiking so fulfilling. Each time I reach the top of a mountain or complete a designated loop, I have immediately conquered a goal. The rewards of being in nature, including the calming of my soul, provide motivation to continue long-term (hopefully lifelong) unlike other passions that may fade away for a multitude of reasons.

So… May my heart lead my mind to accomplish my goals. I’m pretty sure if my mind took the lead I would end up just walking in circles.