Trail Time

Trail Time. I’ve logged some serious miles on my saddle this summer. And I’ve had the pleasure of riding some fine horseflesh, and with each mile looking out between those ears, I soak up the intrinsic value of time spent doing exactly what I love; riding my horse through the wilderness and the backcountry, over new trails and old.  

I’m always amazed at the newness of this country I’ve ridden through my entire life. Every turn reveals a slight change and offers up a new perspective physically, as well as emotionally. I love this place, and I really love how it unselfishly continues to nurture the human soul year after year. Wilderness. To quote a fellow wilderness traveler and friend,  “The heart of the wilderness is within the wilderness of your heart. Ride there.” 

Ride there. Trail time opens the floodgates to a plethora of thoughts. Life passes by at 3 mph and it feels like a 100 years sometimes. I ponder what life has bestowed on me in a short span of 40. Love. Jobs. Horses. People. Favorite memories. Hurt. Pain. Happiness. Music lyrics. Poems. Dust covers and shrouds each passing memory and thought as my horse tracks along. I watch and wonder what lies ahead. Sometimes I’m sure. Sometimes I’m not.

I ride, trying to make sense of it all. To the right of the trail, I watch the river ripple along, and I allow myself to get a little lost in the moment. The water flows gently, never forcing her way, never pushing, just rolling rhythmically. I think silently about all the changes that have made their way into my life, not so different from the way the water runs gently nearby. Maybe I’ve been a little lost here and there, but the beauty has always been in the unsureness of how I’d find myself and my purpose in life. How every little thing, moment, nuance, and experience were just small specks adding to something greater. And I realize in watching the river flow over the colorful freestone bottom, that it will be just a matter of time before it will all make sense… and in this particular moment, I don’t need to understand a darn thing; I don’t have to have it all figured out. I just need to be.

So, I turn back in the saddle, looking onward, and let life unfold between those two ears, and I open my heart to all of life’s possibilities. I let go. I smile. I have faith. And I have hope. I remember what was and think about what will be. I just breathe. 

That’s trail time.

May your trails be happy ones.