Time and Seasons

Joyce at the WaterfallsA few days ago, I went on a short hike to a hidden treasure. This wasn’t one of my typical shin-splitting assaults, but basically a walk in the park. I had been down with the flu all week and really needed to get out among nature and breathe some fresh air, so I went to Whitney Canyon, one of my local favorites.

The hike is a 4-mile out and back trail that ever so gradually ascends through a wooded canyon following a mostly dry creek bed that leads to a stunning series of cascading waterfalls. The falls have been dry for the past several years because of the drought we’ve been having, but I held out hope due to recent storms.

Water in the TreeI sauntered through the canyon, pausing to snap a few pictures here and there, feeling encouraged at the slightest indication of water. Patches of the trail were damp and I noticed that some water had pooled inside of a large tree beside the trail. My heart leapt with anticipation as I progressed deeper into the canyon.

A sudden change in the terrain confirmed the waterfalls were right around the corner, but it was eerily quiet. Then, I saw water. Not the kind of water I had hoped with great anticipation to see, but a stagnant pool of water at the bottom of the first waterfall. There was nothing running, not even the slightest little trickle.

Stagnant WaterI climbed to the top of the first waterfall, eager to see what awaited me at the next one. I was met with only another level of disappointment. I went further in and further up, but there was no running water. Everything seemed dead. I gazed up ahead at the large waterfall at the end, the one that I never had the courage to climb to, and decided I could go for it this time. But there was just another pool of stagnant water.

I paused and reflected on the first time I ventured out to Whitney Canyon a few years ago. I remembered how alive and beautiful and colorful that place was. It was as if the earth was singing and everything danced in unison to its beautiful melody. The waterfalls flowed majestically, endlessly with the heartbeat of the earth.

Whitney Canyon Falls Dec. 2009

Whitney Canyon Falls Dec. 2009

Today, that magnificent place seems to have lost its song. Everything is dry, barren, lifeless. Nothing is flowing. Nothing is moving. Nothing is happening. All appears to be dead. The heart of the earth beats no more. Everything has come to a dramatic end. Or so it seems.

But I know better. There are seasons to everything and seasons go through cycles. As we have seen throughout the history of the earth, cycles can sometimes get a little off. This can even happen to a woman’s monthly cycle. When a cycle is off, sometimes a little boost can get it back on track.

Our lives endure cycles, and for some of us, it’s looking more like the drought state where everything is barren, seemingly dead, nothing is happening and we’ve lost the song of our heart. It’s times like this where we need to reflect on those seasons of life where the water was flowing, so to speak.

If things are looking bleak and dried up at the moment, just know that a storm is coming and everything will be in balance again. You’ve seen it before, so keep that vision inside of you and let it encourage your heart. Times and seasons change, so don’t ever give up hope because the rain will surely come.

One day, I will return to Whitney Canyon and find that symphony playing once again. One day.

Whitney Canyon Falls Dec. 2009 (2)Hike on!

Joyce

Life on the Edge…(Chapter 18)

I finally reached that vista point the woman from earlier spoke of. She was absolutely right about it. The views were breathtaking. Words cannot begin to describe what I felt at that moment.

I was able to clearly see Clouds Rest, some waterfalls that I had never spotted before, and an impressive view of what appeared to be a heart carved into one of the rock formations in the distance. God was showing me that He loved me.

A new angle of a familiar object was also visible. I saw the Half Dome cables and the people ascending and descending them, like Jacob’s Ladder. They looked like little ants or a slow-moving caterpillar. Excitement began to well up in me, even though I felt like I was playing on my last string.

I saw little Katelyn and her family again. They were taking a break before heading up to Sub Dome. I stopped and chatted with them, and we took some pictures together. They were about to leave and head toward Sub Dome to begin the next climb, when Katelyn asked if I was going to join them.  I told her that I didn’t think I could make it. I was seriously beat and couldn’t handle any more torture.

You only have a little bit more to go, then you’ll get to Sub Dome, then you’ve got just a little bit of steps up Sub Dome and you’ll reach Half Dome, and you just got a little way to go up some cables and then you’ll be there at the top.