My plan was to make a quick ascent of Mt Si, get in a good workout and enjoy the view. The perfect beginning for my birthday getaway. But as I made my way up the steep Mt. Si hillside, my mind was spinning. There was guilt for taking two days for myself and leaving my family. It was spirit week at my daughter’s school and I was missing doing her 80’s day make up, there was the fence to be fixed at the rental house, dogs to be fed, watered & walked, forms to be typed up for coaching, laundry, the list was endless. With each step, I remembered one more responsibility, one more reason I shouldn’t be there on the trail. But as I continued upward and the journey became more difficult (it’s a 4 mile hike up to a 4167 ft elevation) my mind tired of the babble in my brain and opened to the quiet rhythm. Step. Step. Breathe. Step. Step. Breathe. Step. Step. Breathe. Soon I found a calmness in my heart and in my mind.

The trail was empty and with the silence, and a still mind, came a slow release of tears. The fall season is my favorite time of the year, though now, with fall comes sorrow. It is the time of year that I lost my fiancé over 20 years ago. There is a dull ache in my gut mixed with the joy I feel when the crisp air pushes out the summer heat. On my birthday, two days earlier, I had attended the last OV invite, the memorial golf tournament that raised scholarship money in the name of my fiancé. My birthday, like the fall season, was bitter sweet, but on this day, with the help of movement and nature, I was able to clear my mind, find peace and conquer the mountain ready for a new day.

What are some ways that you find peace in your life?