I am a lover of the mountains and the great outdoors. I pride myself on being a self sufficient, independant woman fearing little. When I first moved to Santa Fe, NM I signed up for a wilderness survival course so that I would know how to stay safe doing the things I loved. The first rule I learned was to never hike alone. For the most part I took that advice to heart but there have been times when the pull to bag a mountain top was too great and there was nobody to do it with; so off I would go. I never failed to leave information as to my whereabouts. There is something about being alone in the mountains that just cannot compare to anything else. There is a silence that is difficult to find in a constant chattering world. There is a peace that fills a body with every step of the hiking boot. There is also a need to be concious and aware and to trust a gut.
Yesterday was one of those days when the mountain was crying for me to visit so off I went, alone. I had been overwhelmed and preoccupied and felt a little alone time in nature would be just what I needed. There was no one else, only the sound of my own breathing as I neared the top. I stopped for a moment to enjoy the scenery and take in the quiet. With no one else around I heard a noise. It was a noise of movement, heavy movement. As typical of human behavior, I tried to excuse it as being made by settling in my backpack. When the sound happened again and no one was visible, my gut told me it was time to head back. I listened to the inner stirrings of my body’s warning system. All was not right.
Our bodies possess amazing characteristics of self preservation. The important piece here is to pay attention to red flags and warnings. We feel them everyday but may chalk them up to something else. The uneasy gut feeling, hairs standing up on our arms, the feeling of being watched or followed when no one is there. Many times we excuse it as an overactive imagination, failing to give our bodies credit for this built in safety device. It is my belief that we all have an energetic space and when something foreign invades that space our antenna go up. I have no idea what was with me yesterday as I sat in peace but I felt it.
Every day people race up the mountain alone totally oblivious to surroundings unaware and unprepared for any possibility. The same can be said for daily life as our very existence depends on listening to the soft voice inside and being aware of our body’s signals. If we learn to slow down, feel and listen we learn a new language.