Tag Archives: hiking

Field Mice

Walking down a desert path,
Sounds of stirring
Drew my eyes. Turning,
I beheld an object of wrath

Perhaps from the farmer’s wife.
It stopped, frozen: a deer
In headlights. A knife
Cut through my heart: fear.

Too dull, the blade, to last;
I laughed as I passed,
The mouse hoping I would not see.
Beyond his eyes, he turned to flee.

Walking down that desert path,
My eyes beheld
Another. He held
His youth as a tub a bath.

No sighting of farmer’s wife,
Too calm for cervine metaphor;
No fear of carnivore
Pierced him through with fear.

Filled with delight, he stood fast;
But before I passed,
He stopped his eating
In time to avoid a beating.

The many darting to and fro,
From hole to hole;
The two crossing the trail,
The first waiting for the second (aw, how cute!);

And the older fat one,
Too preoccupied with eating,
Too slow with his response,
So that if I had a heavier step
And a slower reaction time,
I’d be cleaning him off the bottom of my sandal.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

Serendipity, Karma, and Synchronicity

Serendipity

I headed to the mountains to go hiking by myself after work the other day.  I planned to hike to a waterfall along the Wasatch bench, but as I drove, it felt right to go instead to a canyon I had seen in a friend’s Facebook post.  I didn’t remember the canyon’s name, but I knew where it was and though I did not know for certain, I had a vague idea of how to get to the trail head.  After passing Big Cottonwood canyon, I just went by what felt right—what my inner voice was telling me to do.  A left here, up the hill, a left there, a right here, and—found it.  At the trail head, I was reminded of the canyon’s name: Ferguson.

A view of the Salt Lake Valley from the Ferguson Canyon trailFrom the first part of the trail there is a fabulous view of the Salt Lake Valley.  I’m sure it will be even better after a rainstorm.  There are also some large, steep rock formations up the canyon, some completely vertical. Up Ferguson Canyon I came upon some climbers and watched them for a bit.  According to RunKeeper, I had gone about one mile (my phone lost GPS signal at some point, so I think it was actually further), at which point I decided I should turn around so I could make it home in time to play Ultimate.  As I headed down, I encountered a local group of cub scouts heading up.  One of the leaders lives one street over from me.  We said hello and chatted a bit, then I was about to continue down, when another leader arrived from below.  He said, “He’s just going to wait there.”  They had with them a special needs young man who was ill-equipped for the steep, rocky, sandy terrain.  He thought he was going on a short, almost flat hike around Silver Lake near the Brighton ski resort.  Instead, he was facing this:

Ferguson Canyon Furgeson Canyon Elevation ProfileHe had basketball shoes on, no socks, and his shoes weren’t tied.  He kept slipping on the loose rocks on a particularly steep part of the trail, and he’d had enough.  I knew the young man; I’ve coached him in church basketball and given him rides home from basketball.  My neighbor suggested perhaps I could give him a ride home.

Karma

As the prophet Alma taught his wayward son Corianton, “that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored” (Alma 41:15 (12-15)) Having received so many rides when I did not have a driver license, I chose to give this young man a ride home, “sending out” that which I already received.  One of the leaders came partway down with me, the two of us helping this young man down, as he had lost his confidence from all the slipping.  This leader wanted to make sure I was okay with giving him a ride home, so I explained I am grateful that I am now in a position where I can pay those rides back.

Synchronicity

It turned out that there was not enough communication to get enough people out to play Ultimate.  Had I known there would be too few people to play while I was up Ferguson Canyon, I would have continued up the canyon, and thus not have been there to help.  This lack of communication, once I was in Ferguson Canyon, had a causal effect on me being there to help.  However, the fact that I was in Ferguson Canyon at the right time to help had three contributing factors: I wanted to go hiking, I got off work a bit early to do so, and I listened to “the still, small voice” within me regarding where to go.  The young man I helped commented, “It’s really lucky that you’re here to help me.”  I submit that it was serendipitous by the original definition, on account of me having the sagacity to listen to the still, small voice, though I was not seeking an opportunity to help others at the time.  I also submit that my desire and plan to play Ultimate, my desire and plan to go hiking after work, and my desire to help others came together in a fit of synchronicity making a meaningful relationship between my activities that afternoon and evening.  The Wikipedia article on synchronicity says “From the religious perspective, synchronicity shares similar characteristics of an ‘intervention of grace’.”  Indeed, for my young friend, there was an intervention of grace that day.

Why At-One-Ment Doesn’t Involve Time Travel

Have you ever longed to go back in time and change just one choice so a life event would turn out differently, or a relationship could be preserved or never started?  I have certainly had wistful thoughts along those lines.  No, I lie.  I do still have wistful thoughts like that from time to time.  I went hiking a couple of weeks ago with some of my family.  My sister had spent three summers working at a camp in the area, and took the lead.  We headed toward that camp, then down a dirt road toward the trail head.  We passed a small stream flowing down the mountain and she remarked that the old trail went up the stream, but people kept littering in the (watershed) stream, so the trail was moved, and the old trail blocked off.  A little further down the road, and she indicated for us to turn off the road and head up the hill.  In the winter, this hill is part of a ski trail; in summer, it is covered with wildflowers.  My sister pointed them out, acting the part of trail guide.  Up the hill we continued, until we reached a spot where there was a spur of trail running to the stream.  My sister was wishing we could go up the old trail, so I told the others I was going to explore the branch, no one had to follow, and I would come back and let them know what I found.  My sister said to make sure it went up and not over, because over would lead into the camp.

The branch lead me across the stream.  A short distance further I found another spur that lead up the hill.  I took it a short distance to see where it led, then returned and informed the others of what I had found.  We headed that way.  The spur going up took me back across the stream not far from where I initially crossed.  I waited there to help my nieces and nephews find the best path across if needed.  While we were crossing, my sister had gone a bit further from the spur and found yet another path that led up.  She instructed that we needed to go up that way, so we all headed over. Continue reading

Hiking in Pioneer Park, St. George

I have gained new insight into Matthew 7:14: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
People hiking a narrow passage
Take this narrows. If this were the way that leads to life, in the first place it is hard to find. If we had not been with someone who already knew it was there, we would not have seen it; nor is it likely that we would have found it if we had been looking for it.

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