New Old Paths


Palmer Park is a 200-acre park in the middle of my city of Colorado Springs.  It is popular with mountain bikers, hikers, and dog owners.  There are miles of trails and I have hiked here frequently for 22 years. 

On a busy cloudy weekend, parking was unavailable close to one of my favorite trails, so we drove to another area of the park and walked in to the east side.  I took an unfamiliar direction and was rewarded with something new.  An area of the park I had never visited was relatively isolated and beautiful.  

We walked to the end of the trail underneath huge power lines, which is why I had never visited this area.  Even the picnic tables were removed or roped off to keep people out during Coronovirus. Once the power lines disappeared we were met with a vista of south facing cliffs and Pikes Peak in the distance.  There were interesting rock formations, hoodoos and plenty of places to climb and explore. 

After my most recent fall in this park, I proceeded with caution.  Not expecting rock climbing, I did not have on my hiking shoes.  This limited my adventurous spirit, but not the access to such beauty.  I had seen this area from below the hoodoos and hiked the lower trails, but was amazed at the newness of this hike.  

“Watch closely: I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak, and you’re about to see it. I am preparing a way through the desert;
 Waters will flow where there had been none.” Isaiah 43:19 The Voice

This time of quarantine has taught me to look at old things in new ways and to appreciate the richness of each moment of life.  Perhaps the lesson to be learned is one of flexibility, openness, shared experiences of grief at what we have lost and anticipation of new and exciting paths.  Even in a familiar park. 

How have you adapted to being limited in your walks?  Have you experienced grief and anger as well as joy? What do you anticipate will change in your life going forward? 

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