Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Rock Trail

I almost always work on Sundays; except for on Easter and Mother's Day. Because my co-worker is not big on celebrating those holidays, she kindly takes those days in my stead. I'm not sure why that wasn't the case this year, but I found my work day on May 11th to be an emotional one...and not in a good way.
A fern roofed cave

I chalk this up in part to the fact I'm sort of half way immersed in the empty nest syndrome. My kids are going in every which direction, and none of it feels very solid at all. I want them safe. Actually, not just safe; but confidently headed somewhere that is very clearly mapped out. But as it stands, the majority have jumped out of the nest with no idea how to fly; and are just hopping around begging to get eaten. (well, one made it back safe into the nest...and after two months of seeing dishes and wrappers all over the house, I'm feeling like pushing him out as soon as the next available cat walks by)
"If you were homeless and living in the woods,
you could use these as shelving!" Amber...
always so resourceful. 
Kidding aside, I was missing my kids on Mother's Day, plain and simple. So I pulled out the guilt card and said they had to hike with me the following weekend. No presents required; all I wanted was quality time spend together. (which is a good thing, considering nobody has any money) Even so, the arm twisting only worked on two of four; but it was the two "jumpers", so I was content.

I knew I'd be pushing my luck if this hike required a long drive, so I was very happy to find trip reports for a new trail on Chuckanut drive. Chuckanut is a hiking staple in these parts, so getting something new introduced to our regular trail diet is pretty exciting. "The Rock Trail" promised 100 foot high sandstone cliffs and a cave you could explore, and all for just a round trip of 4 miles.

I know I just stated I always work on Sundays, but this faux Mother's day was on the following Sunday-- which fate allowed me off. So before the hike, my eldest daughter and I went to church. Without getting too terribly personal (I have another blog for that) I will say that both of us are struggling with faith. Amber shared with me her desire to find this elusive faith, and I shared how my once seemingly stable faith was feeling quite wobbly. So before attending church we prayed together; that we would believe we are loved and valued. For to me, that is what faith is about.

Pastor Marilyn came out with a rock, and set it on the table. She read a few scriptures that reference God as "our rock". Then she told the most heart felt story of riding in the car with her mother. She explained how they had just gotten through something really tough, and her mother was looking at her with a beautiful, relieved and happy smile. The memory stood out to her because of the lyrics of a classic Paul Simon song playing at that moment on the radio:

My mama loves me, she loves me
She gets down on her knees and hugs me
She loves me like a rock
She rock me like the rock of ages
And loves me
She loves me, loves me, loves me, loves me...

"This is the love of God", she declared. It was hard not to cry; even as I write this I'm tearing up. I want and need it so desperately to be true; for me and every human being. But when I look around at the world, it can be very difficult to hold onto at times.
Be prepared for 338 stairs...169 down,
then another 169 back up.
"The Rock Trail" had a lovely sort of significance to it that day. I had prayed for a little light on this confusing and scary path we call life, and I had gotten it; along with quality time spent with my birdies that I will always love, whether they are flying or hopping. 

I love them, I love them, I love them...


  1. I found your blog via a link in one of your trip reviews at (am looking for a July 4th backpacking trip!). The connection between spirituality and the outdoors is so strong. If you're anywhere near Bellingham, there's an experimental church called Echoes that practices this connection fairly regularly: Peace to you!

  2. Looks like a nice hike for the family. I haven't been up to Chuckanut for a long time. BTW, the song you mention is actually a Paul Simon song:

    Good song!

    Note that even some of the most noted people of faith experienced some "dark nights." Mother Teresa is a prime example. Google her name and "dark night" and you will find plenty of links. Of course even Peter sank after walking on water a few steps toward Jesus. Keep the faith!

  3. Thank you for the correction! I get all those old guys mixed up. ;) And thank you for telling me to look up Mother Teresa's dark night. I had no idea. I write about my spiritual journey on my other blog (click on my complete profile to find it) if you ever want to check in on my faith keeping. :)