Monday, November 07, 2016

Reflection: Hiking in the Flat Irons

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn~John Muir.

While it has been a few months since this hike took place, I came along the above John Muir quote recently, and it made me think about all of the times I have spent hiking in the wilderness, and most recently our foray into the Flat Irons.

Jamie and I ventured out on a sunny Saturday morning with our good friend Derek Roberts after a week long conference where we were able to share Nuru in Colorado. Another friend of ours, Kris Woyna, had been encouraging us to check out the Flat Irons for a few years, and so we finally took an opportunity to do so. Jamie wasn’t feeling up for any summits above 10,000 feet this year, and so the Flat Irons seemed like a great place to explore.

The trails were absolutely beautiful. Like John Muir says, “Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” As we made our way through a few different trails along a four mile hike, our spirits felt more and more alive, and our hearts more peaceful.

Anywhere we travel, Jamie and I like to carve out time to be outside. Even when we are at home, we strive to get at least thirty minutes outside daily. Sometimes we are hiking trails, but many times we are hiking through our neighborhood. Our preference is always the forest though.

There’s something about wilderness that restores and refreshes us. Our conversation moves quickly into laughter and joy as we soak up new views and new experiences together. While we were in Acadia National Park earlier this year, we learned about a phenomenon called “Forest Bathing.” Apparently, there are extensive studies around the idea that being in the woods has lots of health benefits that can’t be reaped in city life. The article we read about it said that forest bathing will be the next ‘big thing’ like yoga has become. Who knew that all of us hikers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts were so far ahead of the trend.

If you ever make it to Boulder, be sure to hike the Flat Irons, but if not, get out in the woods and enjoy the gift as ‘the winds blow their own freshness into you.’ May we each take time daily to soak in the gifts of God’s creation and respond in gratitude to their benevolent Giver.

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