These photos were taken last summer when I hiked on the Appalachian Trail. It was in the evening of a day when we had already hiked over ten miles in the rain. I had hoped that the rain would stop but it just kept going on and on. Toward the evening time it rained even harder with a big rainstorm. We ran out of water and were very hungry.
Based on the information book we were only 1.2 miles away from the next water source. It was getting late and we didn’t dare to stop. It felt like the longest 1.2 miles that I hiked in my entire hiking journey. The storm had just stopped but the water source was nowhere near sight. Every step felt so heavy hiking through the wet grass that was higher than my knees that I just wanted to stop.
Suddenly I heard my hiking partner exclaiming, “Oh my God!!!” “Oh my God!!!” I turned around, and couldn’t believe what I saw. Right there in front of my eyes was the most breath taking view I had ever seen in my life. I had never even dreamed of seeing such sheer beauty on Earth!
Big blossoms of white clouds moving around the many tips of the mountains with such joyful ease and unearthly grace! The mountains were so magnificent, the clouds were so graceful, the trees were so clean and green, and the air felt so refreshing deep into the cells!
Everything was so pure, graceful and elegant. Everything was alive and perfectly blended together in sheer beauty. I felt like breathing in the same life force and emitting the same joy of being alive with everything around me, above me, and underneath me! I was one with everything! It was Heaven on Earth! I was speechless and felt instantly refreshed.
All my weary feelings dissipated. I realized why I had had the most difficult hike in the most challenging weather that day. All my previous complaints and wishes for something different miraculously dropped away. Everything was in perfect order.
In that magic moment I surrendered my expectations. I learned a most beautiful lesson of trust and surrender from Mother Nature while being completely immersed in reverence and awe in the ultimate Presence that created everything. I learned to let go of my expectations and embrace whatever life brings to me with full trust and ease even at times when I couldn’t see what lies ahead of me. Let it be and let go!
That day we hiked over twelve miles before we reached the next shelter. It became completely dark and the rain came back. We put little lamps on our head but still had to make sure that every step we moved we put our feet on the right spot. My heart felt so light that I really enjoyed every step on the muddy little path that was filled with uneven stones.
I hiked three hundred and forty miles on the Appalachian Trail in two summers and had many experiences of trail magic. This became my most treasured magic experience on AT. I was thoroughly cleansed like everything else that day. Let it be and let go!