The pain of a beautiful hike

The pain of a beautiful walk

The pain of a beautiful walk

Rarely do we end our day on the trail without having tripped, stumbled, slipped or fallen at some point during our journey. Indeed, I believe it so that, the more beautiful the walk, the more hazards we encounter. We peer skywards towards the call of a kestrel, tripping on tree roots and slipping in mud, and at our feet we search for wildflowers and unsuspecting bugs, bumping our heads on overhanging oaks. I guess what I am trying to say is, where there is pain, there is beauty; no doubt a consideration worth remembering.

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15 thoughts on “The pain of a beautiful hike

  1. I dunno… At 54 I had hip resurfacing because some fall sometime or other knocked the joint out of whack. And now? I have arthritis in both knees from over use and injuries from falling.

    I could get the idea that the greater the risk the more likely the beauty, but pain and beauty? Well then again, as a student said to me years ago before my surgery when I was in terrible pain and could barely walk, a kid who knew my (former) habits and had similar ones himself, he looked at me very worried (on his own behalf), “It was worth it, wasn’t it, Professor?” My eyes really did fill with tears and in one moment I thought of all the miles and all the trails and all the flowers and raptors and coyotes and even a mountain lion and the dogs and friends and conversations and silences and rocks and snakes and cool bugs and the fragrances of different times of day, of datura opening at dusk, of an owl flying in silence beside me and I said, “Oh yes. It was worth it.”

    It was worth it. But don’t be reckless with yourself. You only get one you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Martha, I am sorry to hear of your injuries, but glad that, with hindsight on your side, you still see your life of adventure as being worth it.

      Perhaps the post was a little misleading, for I wasn’t suggesting that pain, as a solitary emotion, is beautiful. Nor that, to put oneself in a reckless situation will lead to beauty (though, on occasions this may be true). The take-a-way points were intended to be two fold:

      Firstly, when a walk is beautiful, we become distracted. We divert our vision from the path. And with that, we may bump our head on a branch or trip on a stone (these are hazards). Thus, the more hazards we encounter, in that sense, the more beautiful the walk.

      And secondly, when we do feel pain – be it on the path or in life, physically and emotionally – I feel that amongst the hurt there is often reward and beauty, in some form or another.

      Perhaps I was being a little cryptic?

      I hope this clarifies the message I was trying to deliver. Thank you for your comments Martha, you have a few more years on me and your wisdom is valuable.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Martha, you brought tears to my eyes as I nodded in agreement. I have various aches and agonies that make long hikes painful. But hazards, like sighting a bear off in the distance (or a cougar) are thrilling and make for a memorable day. Aching muscles after a hard climb are a strange but satisfying reward and can bring a sense of accomplishment. But busted bones and long lasting injuries? No thanks. My local path with it’s herons and woodpeckers and the occasional coyote is flat and short and I long for a good ramble in rolling hills and fallen trees and rivers to traverse but for now, my path is short and hazard free. I’ll take it for all it has to offer and keep reading “Scuffed Boots” and dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, a cougar, that must have been quite something. Aching muscles do feel oddly rewarding, and yes, I agree, busted bones and long lasting injuries are totally undesirable. As I have suggested to Martha above, I feel like my message may have been misconstrued. I am not one for putting myself in the face of danger merely to provoke beauty. However, if something adverse should occur, there is, more often than not, an aspect of beauty hidden within.

      Walking a local path, dotted with herons and woodpeckers, to me sounds just as inspiring as a hike across rivers and through the hills.

      Thank you for your words.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just the other day I took a rather long hike that took me to the top of a bluff, crossing scree and very steep drop-offs. I made it through unscathed and was almost to my jeep when I stepped on an area of loose pebbles on a smooth hard surface, I went down like a dropped bag of potatoes. Nothing was hurt, just a few scrapes, but you’re right. It’s worth it for where I had been.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I kinda have to agree–some of the most eventful, beautiful hikes I’ve had in RMNP involved me twisting/spraining an ankle, scuffing my knees and busting my hands open. Great memories, fantastic photos, and in then end, laughed and walked off the pain!

    Liked by 1 person

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