I am going to begin this blog by taking a moment and give you a little back story to this adventure. I have always wanted to take this trip and begged my daughter to put in for the permits for this adventure. After initially being denied passes, a week later she received an email that she was to call and tell them to override their former decision. She called, received the six permits and realized that this trip was meant to be. As the trip was rapidly approaching, so was my fear. My fear of not being able to keep up with the "younger" group I was traveling with, not being able to carry my own weight, as well as, my 40lb. backpack. You know...that damn thing called ego that likes to get in your head and naw at you until you cave in to its' belief system. Well it almost won - BUT - didn't!
Last Sunday, I found myself hiking down into the canyon of Havasupai Falls, AZ. As I was traveling down into the canyon, I found myself realizing that as my kids are getting older, they don't need me quite the same way that they did when they were little. For me, that is a very hard pill to swallow...it not only is the realization that I am getting older, but that yet, another chapter of my life is closing. What I have quite often forgotten to remember is while one chapter is closing, another one is just beginning. I was traveling DOWN into the canyon which is very significant, because I was spiritually digging deep into my being as the hike was just beginning.
I spent quite a bit of time in thought, in awe of my surroundings, embracing the nature that was encasing me and the beautiful, amazing people that I was traveling with. They are all family, and their demeanor and kind-heartedness shined over and over again...many times without them even knowing it.
As our trip was three days and two nights, on the third day, we needed to make the journey out of the canyon. As I mentioned earlier, the initial 10-mile journey was down...so obviously there was only one way to go when leaving, and that was 10-miles up! As I neared the top, with 32lbs. on my back - YES, I wanted to quit, but at that moment, I dug deep down into my being and I realized at that moment, that I needed me. The journey had come full circle. I have now reached the time in my life when I need to give back to me. I need to allow myself to be ok with the self-love that I so many times talk about! WOW!!! As I am always looking for the spiritual message in everything that I do, this message was not the one that I was expecting and am I ever so grateful that this is the one that I received.
The high-five that I shared with my eldest son when I reached the top was one that I will forever cherish, because it truly meant more to me than he will ever know. The giggle that I shared with my daughter on the way up, when we just wanted to sit and take the mule out! That giggle is one that I will forever cherish, because like the high-five, it truly meant more to me than she will every know! The greatest gift that I have taken away from this trip is that my kids didn't need me, but they wanted me - boy am I loving this chapter more than I ever thought!
If you have not yet traveled to Havasupai Falls, please put it on your bucket list. This is one of the most beautiful, spiritual places I have visited thus far! It truly is an oasis in the middle of the desert, and makes you realize that no matter what your belief system is, this place truly is a gift from God, higher power, universe, whatever you like to call it, but ultimately..something greater than us!