“Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom.” Mufasa
My oldest son and I hiked Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona today. I’ve only started enjoying hiking recently since committing to a healthy lifestyle. The same is true for my son. Between us, we’ve dropped 275 pounds over the past two years which makes a ton of difference in how you enjoy moving in the world. One of my favorite things about hiking is the journey along the way. I often find that part just as satisfying, if not more, than the destination.
Neither one of us has a great sense of direction so on our hikes we look around a lot to avoid having to use the coyote whistles we forgot back at the house. The road we walked today was wide and rocky, and we’d even had a conversation with a ranger about the possibility of driving in on it. I’m so glad we didn’t.
We had a nice time catching up and chatting about his last term in school. I love hearing stories about his cohort and his professors, about all that he’s learning in his PhD program at University of Arizona. As we started getting closer to the Bridge, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees and the mountains looked completely different in the light.
It’s all about where you’re standing and looking. It changes everything.
As we approached Devil’s Bridge, we started seeing a few more folks on the path. We scaled some steps to get to the top and started talking to a couple who’d obviously been here before. (They’d be our photographers later.) They explained to us where the Bridge was and we followed them to it. The man was afraid of heights so he wouldn’t be crossing over. I didn’t blame him. From where we stood looking out, the Bridge didn’t look very wide and it was scary. We passed over the camera and off we went, crossing over the rock formation.
Here’s the perspective part. When we were right up on it, it wasn’t really scary at all. It was just there and it was beautiful. Nature had formed this amazing arch for us to enjoy.
Camera guy wanted us to jump up and down which was taking it a bit too far.
On the way back, an older man came up behind us and started chatting us up. We learned that he’d been hiking all day through the canyon and was going part of the same way we were. He told us he’d lived in Sedona for 17 years, came here to retire, and was a trail guide part of that time. When we told him we had parked back a mile down the road he asked if we’d be willing to go off-road a little for a more rewarding journey. We prayed he wasn’t an ax-murderer. Then, we sized him up, figured we could both take him if things got ugly, and agreed to follow which was very brave considering the part about how we get lost easily.
This leap of faith took us down a most beautiful trail where we could see so many more vistas than on the way up. Not only that, but along the way he pointed out all the native plants, their uses, and all the surrounding mesas. What a gift. Our private trail guide. Sedona’s synchronistic like this, which is one reason I love it so much. I never know where my daily journey will lead, but always know I’ll be glad I went.
If there’s something that looks scary from one perspective, maybe all you need to do is be brave, take a chance, and look at it from another position.