This week was Spring Break in Arkansas. The grandkids are gone on a mission trip and Kenderick has been working (I have a hard working son). I took some time off from work and decided I would go hiking. My goal was to hike a new trail each of the seven days the kids would be gone. I did my first hike on Saturday. I hiked alone, around Caddo Bend Loop. I stopped at the Visitor's Center and all along the trail, I didn't see other blacks. The trail was rated as moderate, but there were no scary, hanging off a bluff experience.
Sunday, I hiked the Woolly Hollow Loop. Which, I saw the same thing again, no blacks and no scary bluffs. Monday, more of the same - River Mountain Park Trail. Tuesday, same - Lake Sylvia Loop. Wednesday, same - Hunt's Loop. Today, things were slightly different. Today, Thursday, we hiked Cedar Falls Trail at Petit Jean. Today I saw two black guys, who were with three white guys. I also saw two biracial kids who were with a white woman (maybe their mom).
Hear me clearly, I am not saying only whites hike. I am not saying blacks don't hike. I am not making a statement for any race. What I am saying is that hiking is not a common black thang. If it were, I probably would see more blacks on the trail. I can't speak for my race, but being in the back woods alone or as a group is not common practice in the black community.
I could see people standing under the falls and that was good for them, but I didn't feel left out at all. I didn't even have a clear idea as to how they had gotten over there. I was then invited, actually encouraged to cross this field of boulders to get to the other side; to climb rocks to get under the falls. I was not feeling it at all. But, I had come this far, I was going to give it a try. I intently watched the feet of my sister as she proceeded across the boulders. I tried to put my foot where she trod. With my first step, my foot slipped and it went into the stream. At least I got to test my waterproof boots. Another reason why I really like my boots.
I didn't make it completely under the falls, but it was not because I couldn't get up, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get down. I should have kept going.
What I learned is that I can't always look at the big picture because it can be too overwhelming, I just have to look at the next step. The perspective is quite different when you take it one step at a time. I knew the goal; to finish the trail, but since I had never hiked the trail before, I didn't know the route. I followed my sister and the blazes on the trees. I had to watch what was in front of me; being careful of where I placed my feet. When hiking, I am looking out for critters under my feet, for loose rocks, for slippery edges. I am also looking for the next blaze on the tree to make sure I am heading the right way. So, although I know the goal, I am only concerned with the next step.
I believe that is what God wants from us. To trust Him, each step of the way, taking one step at a time.