During my recent trip to Pollock Pines (about 45 miles south of Lake Tahoe), my soul sister, Lisa, and I decided to take a drive to see if we could find an area where we could do a little hiking and be with the trees and hopefully there would be water nearby. Lisa’s map app led us to Sly Park Recreation Area. We pulled up to the gate and greeted the attendee.
Jeannie was the sweetest host. Can you believe this is her retirement job? She works five minutes from home, gets to look out onto a beautiful lake, tall trees and nature all day? What a beautiful life, and she was grateful. She asked what our plans were and told us about a waterfall we could hike to. We were excited.
We drove the 2.5 miles into the park towards the parking area where we would begin our hike. We were in awe, the peacefulness already coming within the car and touching our skin. The view was just beautiful of the lake surrounded by trees. There are two little islands within Jenkinson Lake.
The park is open for day trips, whether you are just coming in for a picnic, kayaking, boating, etc., or you can camp as well ~ tents or campers.
We pulled into the parking area for the waterfall. There were many different paths, that were not clearly marked. We asked a worker, also retired and loving his job, how we get to the waterfall. He quickly gave us directions that sounded a lot like, “take a left, left, over the bridge and left”. It was about a mile hike to the waterfall. Okay, how hard could it be?
Water in hand, we began our trek. Nature, the sounds, the smells, the vibrations.
We started talking about what has been going on in our lives, what our processes have been, and where we are wanting to move into in our lives.
Along the walk I could feel the elementals all around us. They were joyous and dancing. I could also sense our ancestors walking with us, letting us know that they were there for us along the journey. We also found walking sticks, which made us feel like true hikers!
We came to a fork in the road. There was no sign stating which way the waterfall was. And all I could remember the worker telling us was left, left. So that’s what we did.
The walk became steeper, much more intense. We could hear the water flowing to our right, so we felt we were getting closer. But we were going higher. Which didn’t totally make sense unless we were going to the top of the waterfall.
We came across this fallen tree that laid across the path. We took a little rest, taking pictures and then decided to continue our trek.
Just on the other side of the fallen tree the path became almost non-existent. The walking path was not as open as it was before, the overgrowth of the brush coming onto the path, and it was dry, as we were no longer under the cover of the trees, we were out in the open. We began to question if we were going the right way. We walked back to the ledge and could still hear the water flowing. This path, however, was not clear. And it didn’t seem right that we should continue as there was no true direction.
So, we turned around. We questioned how we could have gone the wrong way and why the signage wasn’t clearer.
We both suddenly marveled at “our predicament” and our lesson from Spirit.
Sometimes on our journey, we don’t have a clear direction, or a clear path to where we are going. We may make wrong turns, or there may be some insights here and there, or we are unsure of what is the right path for us to take. The true journey is learning to navigate our way there.
In life when things aren’t working out in one direction, we always have the option of turning around and deciding to go in a different direction. To try a different route to get a different outcome. We can do that with understanding, forgiveness, and compassion with ourselves when we need to turn around and go a different way.
It doesn’t mean we were wrong. We learned something, grasped experience, or got to take pictures of a fallen tree and a bee on a beautiful flower.
We found our way back to the fork in the road and joyously went in that direction. We were soon met by the sound and smell of the fresh waterfall.