A morning after several short hours of sleep.
The night was troublesome, but the day was young.
Coffee with hazelnut creamer and a breakfast bag consisting of a banana, a chocolate muffin and an orange.
Loaded car with everything one will need for a a full hiking day: Hat, sunscreen, snacks, water, comfortable shoes, change of clothes, warm layer, dry bag, backpack and...face mask. It is 2020 after all.
A short 10 mile drive to the entry of Zion National Park. Before the entry - a quick stop to rent canyoneering boots and tall socks, and hiking sticks. The adventure begins at this store. The awesome helpful employee - let's call him Jake - digs right in to my fashion sense and offers me a vintage looking copper backpack to rent. I love the backpack so much I may end up buying it. I try on the canyoneering shoes and do a little runway fashion show at the store. They're perfect, I'm ready and IT'S ON. I mention to Jake that it's my birthday and he squeezes a later return deadline for the rentals. Oh, the perks of being born!
Off we go to an adventurous day of our birth in Zion National Park.
Zion is mentioned in the bible (ahem OLD testament) over 150 times. And always (don't quote me here, 'always' is a strong word) refers to the city of Jerusalem as ZION.
I know this, because my home growing up was in Mount Zion in the old city of Jerusalem.
So imagine my surprise when I heard about ANOTHER Zion out there in the world, and how GORGEOUS this Zion is. Pfffttt. No way! I thought to myself. MY Zion is the real Zion. the OG. What is that other Zion everybody keeps raving about!? Oh, the human need to be territorial. Sigh... so silly. Glad I got over that because otherwise I'd never would have had the day I had today.
We enter the majestic grounds of Zion National Park and head to the park's shuttle with our gear and a healthy dose of excitement. From the window of the shuttle bus, we gaze at the red hills, lush grounds and fascinating rock formation that is in every corner of this little piece of heaven on earth. Everything we see around us looks as if nature, or someone, had artistically painted and carved this little part of the map. Sprinkled some magic dust onto this area for us all to admire. I suddenly understand why it's called Zion. The promised land. God's favorite child. How else can humans explain this astounding beauty!? Oh, I finally get it. ZION is a fitting title.
We begin our hike through 'The Narrows.' It is a long hike through cold rocky waters, up to waist deep, inside canyons of majestic cliffs and colors that change in every turn. It's a challenging hike and aside from the obvious challenge of walking against a strong currant in cold temperatures on slippery rocks, there is another challenge: the challenge NOT to constantly look down at your feet, and missing the beauty that is above you.
A couple of hours in to the hike we stop to meditate. A birthday meditation. A suitable day to GO INWARD, isn't it? I close my eyes and begin to breathe. The more my thoughts quiet down, my listening focuses in on the sound I am hearing: the water. The water is growing louder and louder in my ears. So loud I can barely make any sounds of the hikers passing by. It takes some quieting of the mind to start listening to nature, it seems.
On the way back from this round trip hike, we walk WITH the currant. In many ways this is is simpler - it requires far less strength to find balance and speed along. However, I soon learn to RESPECT the currant, because it is the boss of how this hike goes, not me. I gotta be cautious, slow and focused so I don't fall flat on my face in these cold waters. Metaphor for life in a way, is it not? Go against the currant - you'll meet obstacles and need to push well into your limits. You may get tired and give up, or push through and hurt yourself in the process. Go with the currant - you'll move faster but don't let that 'get to your head'. The currant is the leader and guide to your moves, RESPECT it and be precise and deliberate with every step, and maybe then you'll get to your destination without too much pain.
I take one lesson from my hike: Be with the currant. Let it lead you. Let it guide you. Let it support you. Because you cannot control it anyway...
We end the day in a much earned dinner at a local spot at the entry to Zion. We eat like we just has a challenging 9 miles hike through water. Because we did. And then we get back at our hotel room, and exhaust ourselves to sleep. No shower or a bath for our aching muscles. No replies to emails from the work day we missed. Nothing but immediate well deserved SLEEP.
Because this is the currant. And we are going WITH it.
To be continued...
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman