July 17, 2013

Louder Than My Thoughts: Cedar Creek Trail

Sometimes my mind is just so stinking LOUD.  Last week especially my brain was an absolute construction site.  A million thoughts going off like a jackhammer- positive thoughts, negative thoughts, to do lists, stress, lack of stress, not enough quiet, too much quiet, who am I, what is my life, where am I going, why don't I stay...  My brain sets to warp speed and sooner than later, I'm Rick Moranis in Spaceballs proclaiming, "We've been jammed!" When I'm in my head that much, I make mistakes at work.  I don't sleep.  I get grumpy, tired, quiet, emotional...  I imagine I'm NOT 'a joy to have in class.' 

And who wants to be that in the world?

Thankfully, the girls told me about a hike they did the other day called 'Cedar Creek Trail.'  They also said there's a waterfall. Done & done! I LOVE the sound of water... sitting next to it... watching it... imagining it's history.  Water is soothing, cleansing and powerful.  That would be a good place to reflect and BE STILL.  ("Be still, damn it!!!") I'm not sure I've ever been so desperate for a hike.

As I started on the trail, some hikers ran past me on their way back. I remembered thinking, "Why on earth would you be running away from the falls?  Why not take in the scenery?  Take a breath?  Just be?  Is life that hectic in the Cascades that you need to 'get somewhere?'"  It wasn't judgment.  Just different than how I do life. 

I pondered who they were and their life story... along with my 12,000 other thoughts.  The construction boots I've been wearing, heavy belt and helmet weighed on me like a backpack.

In comparison to what I've been doing with my family here, this is an extraordinarily easy hike-- only about 45 minutes to the falls.  Slowly I could hear the sound of water... I was so excited, almost relieved!  In just a few moments I get to take off my mental gear and just be...

And wow...

This wasn't a babbling brook or a rushing stream. This was a WATERFALL.  POWERFUL. LOUD.

My thoughts began to break up... I sat on the top of the rock and attempted to meditate. 

That loving waterfall built just for me a zillion years ago for this very moment (I'm sure of it!), would NOT allow it. 

The rainbow that stretched out at the bottom would NOT go away.

The power of the water cascading over the falls was nothing short of loving energy that I was demanded to accept...like, RIGHT NOW.  There would be no mediation.  There would be no doing it my way.  There was only, "We've been waiting for you so let's get to it, shall we?"


I got up and began to walk around.  There were bigger rocks at the bottom and I had a sneaky suspicion there was some way to get down there even though the thought of being so close to the falls scared the sh*t out of me.  There were a few different paths-- each one giving me a better view... until I found one that reached the bottom.  I knew this was it.

Heart racing, I hike/slid down a path that took me right to the bottom.  There she was...I could see the entire falls now and stood there in awe as she pounded endlessly into the creek below. My legs shook and the cool air mixed with fear made the air hard to breathe.

Drenched in the moment, I sat in the mossy mud as the cold mist with her beauty, power and healing became a loving baptism that covered my entire body.  The energy pierced me.  I was enveloped in it completely and stayed there like a battery recharging.

I saw the wet rocks in front of me.  The big one was right in the center of the creek.  I was scared to walk out... ("what if?... what if?... what if?")  but I was mezmorized by the magnificent energy.  Nothing would happen to me.  With every fiber of my being, I knew I was supposed to be here.  My whole body shook but I collected my cahones and walked out onto the rocks.  I survived. (Duh).  I climbed the biggest rock in the middle of the creek about twenty feet from the waterfall.  I stretched out my arms for a brief moment and put my head back.

It was pretty tremendous.

On my way out, I put a rock on the cairn to show I'd been there. 

I felt light as a feather.  I remembered the folks running back from the falls.  I imagined what it must have felt like to run after such an experience, feeling light as a feather... I suddenly felt my feet moving.

When I rockclimbed back in Los Angeles and was cracked open that day to the world being full of possibility, I carried that truth with me to Chicago.  BF and I used a mantra, "Everything radically changes today!"  We would say it everyday with the expectation that miracles were coming.  It was exciting to think, "Oooh, what magic is coming my way today?"  It makes everyday a game! 

As I ran, I thought "What if there are miracles in this running? What if every time I make a healthier choice, its a game like the rest of my life has become?  What if everytime I choose a different ending to my story with health, I get to play with magic?"

And that's what it became... I was running on the trail like a dragonfly on water.  Taking off and landing... taking off and landing as I continued over twisting, rolling hills.  I figured this must be what if felt like to be a kid-- to run for the fun of it.

During my adventure, I came upon this fiery red tree blazing in the sunlight. 

You can't tell in this picture, of course, but it stopped me dead in my tracks.  I walked up to it and took a look.  It looked like camouflage close up!

Look!  You can't see me!  I'm camouflaged!!! 

I'm sure that 0% of the people who hike Cedar Creek are scared.  I'm sure that 0% of the people who hike Cedar Creek have spiritually intense experiences like I do... But I'd have it no other way.  It was an incredible day.

In Mazama, my thoughts can be loud.  But there's ALWAYS something louder. 

I am ridiculously grateful for that.  :)


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