Blessed Morning, Dear Creator!
Another day that I’m up before dawn. I must say, yesterday’s sunrise was not spectacular. It merely went from darkness to a gloomy overcast. Yet, I’m hopeful what today may have in store.
Yesterday’s hike up Mt. Cardigan was an adventure. There were nine participants, with a range of hiking experience, who showed up eager to hike. We had conditions of overcast and drizzle, with cool temperatures around 50°F. The wet conditions made the climb slick, and above treeline the mountain was socked in, with visibility just enough to go from cairn to cairn, and a pretty strong wind.
These are dangerous conditions for those not properly prepared. I explained to our hikers that in the White Mountains, any time of the year, a nice, sunny day can change to these conditions very quickly.
In these clouded in, low visibility conditions, people can get disoriented and lose their way. Or, if someone were to get injured here, s/he would be very exposed to these elements.
Even though it wasn’t raining, it was cold enough that the clouds were condensing on rocks and vegetation. If someone was wearing cotton, it would get wet and begin to steal heat from her/his body. Add the wind chill to that, and it’s a recipe for hypothermia.
So, preparedness is key. Wearing synthetic fibers that wick and dry quickly, and bringing an insulating layer like fleece and a shell that will block the wind and rain, are all essential gear to have if the weather changes. Also, I like to use gloves and a fleece hat to quickly regulate my body temperature as it fluctuates throughout the exertions of a hike.
The most essential component, though, is common sense. To prepare beforehand. To know the weather forecast, and stay aware of changing conditions. To inform someone of your plans and timetable. To bring the gear that might be needed. And, to trust your instincts and intuition. If something causes you concern, and you don’t feel safe, then listen. You can always try again another day.
I give this Prompt to consider:
So, Dear One, this can be quite a challenge, the idea of listening to your instincts and intuition, when I’ve also been encouraging you to dare, and risk vulnerability.
It is valuable to study this, to see what differences there are between the two.
In today’s example, you may start out thinking that the whole hike feels risky to you. I would encourage you to explore the subtle differences.
Starting the hike properly prepared, with a trained guide, is basically a supported walk in the woods. I would suggest that your fear is getting in your way, and presents an opportunity to dare.
On the mountain, in challenging conditions, it’s a reasonable assessment that the conditions exceed your current skill level. That’s engaging your intuition and common sense.
In our adventure, we turned back before reaching the summit. There was still a lot of learning and experience gained.
Adventure doesn’t have to mean reckless. Daring is something different. Much love for this lesson, Guides!