Will and I traveled to Brown County State Park early this morning before it got too hot in order to hike the 2.2 mile loop simply known as Trail 10. The early morning temperature forecast showed 85 degrees but this trail has excellent tree covering so i knew it would be a bit cooler.
Trail 10 is extraordinarily well-maintained only narrowing in one spot on the back end of the loop. The specs on this trail list it as a moderate trail with 400 elevation descent and ascent. I would probably describe this trail as leisurely with very gradual elevation changes over the 2 miles. The temperature stayed at about 75 degrees but I worked up a small sweat with it being quite humid.
The greatest compliment I can pay to Trail 10 this morning is the gift it gave…and that I received-solitude and silence. Will and I had the woods to ourselves and the birds entertained us in song while the trees welcomed us along. Breathing easy and taking in the sweet Spring aromas, I was reminded of something I wrote a while back that perfectly describes what I experienced this morning:
It is an understatement to say that our lives are full of chaos. We do not take the time to stop and realize how dependent and addicted we are to the noise and the rush around us. Every minute of the day is full noise and busyness. It is the television, music, conversation, kids, and incessant chatter. When we finally come up for air we gasp, “God, where are you? This hardly feels like the abundant life you promised. Where is the peace?” We don’t stop to think how our minds have become so conditioned to the three second snippet or the fast paced motion of life. It is no wonder we are so anxious, impatient, discontented, addicted, and medicated. My God, where is the peace?
Think about how this affects us. We do not stop to listen to others. We are constantly thinking about what we are going to say next or do later or the next thing on our schedules. We are unable to concentrate and sit in silence and just listen. We have to speak. We have to turn up the volume. Is it not true that we live lives that make it seemingly unable to quiet those things around us and those things in our heads? We are unable to just sit still and breathe, contemplate, find peace, and hear God.
In solitude and silence, we intentionally remove ourselves from everything and everyone for a period of time. We cut ourselves off from everything we have become dependent upon or addicted to…standing still and alone with God. Solitude and silence strips away everything that we have filled ourselves with and leaves the infinite void of our soul wide open and exposed…preventing everything but God to fill us. In solitude and silence we realize that there is no thing or no one to trust in but God alone, and this is an excellent beginning point for all of us.
Today I am thanking God for the peace and solitude of the leisurely Trail 10.