March 1st, 2017 ~ Day 341
Total darkness surrounded me when I arrived at the trailhead just before 6 am. Being the only car in the parking lot made me a little nervous. There are usually people here in the mornings. Parking at the base of the mountain off 59th Avenue, my plan was to do my usual 1.6 mile hike.
I haven’t hiked alone in the mornings in awhile, and fear and anxiety overtook me as I began hiking uphill. No one was here. With the light from my flashlight guiding the way, the only sound was the rocks crunching under my feet. The eerie quiet sound of nature in total darkness gave me an anxiety I haven’t felt in a long time.
Once I made it up the first hill, I decided to go left rather than right. My fears overtook me. To the left I would be hiking along the backyards of houses that backed up to the trail, to the right, it would have been a dark quiet desert. I felt safer being close to the houses.
It stayed dark for most of my hike, granted the hike was only a half hour. As I began climbing the south side trail, I was blessed to see a shooting star. Of course I made my wish.
I continued hiking along the trail. Taking photos of the city lights dulled my anxiety. I hiked to a lookout spot with a bench. There I sat to enjoy a moment of peace. With the cold wind blowing on my face I began to meditate. A little bit of meditation and some reflection of recent events, I sat there quietly to try and calm my fears.
It started to get a little bit brighter as I was hiking back to the trailhead. The colors of the sunrise coming up along the horizon. I finally ran into two other wandering souls as I was coming down the mountain.
Even though fear and anxiety overwhelmed me today, I am grateful I pushed through this hike. I almost turned around. I do this in hopes that next time, I won’t be so afraid.