Last weekend, my husband and I and our two dogs struck out on a slightly ill conceived adventure with a couple of friends. We were planning on doing a 40 mile hike in 3 days, backpacking and camping along the way. Sounds easy right. Well my husband and I didn't thoroughly investigate the hike and didn't really do any pre-planning or prepping. We often do 10 miles of hiking on a Saturday and the dogs always do well, so we thought this would be no problem. Well we didn't take into consideration that both he and I would be carrying packs of 45 and 35 pounds, respectively, and that the actual hike was well, hard. Usually we hike in well manicured Forest Park here in Portland, OR. This hike was dangerous due to washouts and treacherous because of rock scrambling and cliff drop offs. Not to mention the creek and river crossings. After about 5 miles into this adventure I got some pretty nasty blisters and my feet swelled up so that any movement was agony. But there was no turning back. We were in it. My husband and I have always considered ourselves a team, but this adventure really emphasized that I need Bruce and he needs me. For more than just everyday, "Hey how are you, I love you, how's your day" stuff. I needed him to help me survive. And our dogs needed both of us and our two friends to help them survive. (Looking back with 20/20 hindsight we would NOT have taken the pups on this hike.)
The deep love and appreciation I feel for both pups, our friends, and especially my husband welled up inside me when we were hiking, but even now I can tap into that feeling. At one point I was hiking along with trees and the mountain on my right, and a sheer drop off on my left, the pups running back and forth between us, the bees buzzing, the trees creaking in the breeze, and gorgeous little purple flowers everywhere, and I just felt so much love pour into me from the Universe and flow up from Earth into my poor feet. I stopped and cried and kissed my husband as I was so overwhelmed with the HUGE emotion and love that surrounds us in this world and that comes from us. At that moment it became so clear to me the truth of what is important in this life. Love. Relationships. Each other.
I don't think we have to put ourselves in this extreme situation to really understand and comprehend the bigger picture that we are all in this world together. So much of our life and our experience is determined by our level of gratitude. Who are you grateful for? Who's mere presence in your world makes life easier?
We are all in this amazing world together. We will do better if we band together as a team. As a society. As a community. With love and gratitude.