Trippin – The Johnny Cash Trail

Because you’re mine, I walk the line. – Johhny Cash

My last solo trip had me taking a long drive to the middle of the desert to find a sense of calmness and serenity. It was an amazing journey but today’s short drive to one of my favorite walking spots reminded me that no matter how long the journey, peace is found when you just take a few extra seconds to soak in the beauty of life.

A few years ago I fell in love with a little stretch of trail that dances along the American River in Folsom, CA. One stroll I had found a particular spot that felt comfortably uncomfortable.

On a cliff’s edge, I had never felt safer… even though one misstep on the granite could plummet me down 40 feet into the shallow river. I felt comfort because directly across the water, a giant etched heart flared back at me, as if everything in the universe had led to that exact moment. A moment of choice.

The next few winter and summers I would go on what I thought was the same trail to find that little slice of heaven, but each time I’d get lost along the way. Though I hadn’t found that exact spot to rest my vulnerable heart, each time I discovered a new place of nirvana to tuck away in my memories.

All the subsequent trips had purpose. Some were filled with pure euphoric joy, others with danger… Have you ever almost directly stepped on a coiled rattlesnake in the middle of nowhere? That’s a shock to the system, trust me! But every single trip had me finding another piece to a puzzle that I didn’t always realize I was putting together. The jigsaw cut portrait of me.

That brings me to today. Far from complete, I finally feel at least part of the puzzle is taking shape. The boundaries of what my heart needs are firmly in place, and most of the intricate lines are starting to match up. Sure there’s A LOT of those random blue sky pieces that are scattered looking for a home… ok, you get the metaphor, right?

So I got out of bed this morning with one purpose… to find that almost now mythical spot. The stretch of trail where the river’s exposed heart smiled on love. As I began my walk, it was tempting to side track to one of the familiar spots I knew where I could relive a treasured moment of time. But I stood tall and had faith that I would find it…

Instead of taking the usual trails that never led to quite the right spot on previous journeys, I walked too far… on purpose. That’s where it all hit me like a ton of bricks (or more appropriately the granite that surrounded me). You’ll never find your true heart settling on the short walk, and while going too far gives you better perspective to where you need to be, it doesn’t put you there either.

And then, walking solo amongst the rocks, a stairway presented itself. Almost too simple. The last few trips on the trial I had gone a different way, and here they were, the original steps that took me to exactly where I had set out to discover.

I had found my el dorado… and it was just as magical as I had remembered it. The heart was bigger than ever, the river’s edge just as tall, and the feeling of uncomfortably was reignited. Today, I once again felt like love is a choice, not an option. I ended up spending the afternoon just absorbing the beauty of the moment, while listening to an excellent soundtrack of tunes that always has a way of playing the strings of my heart.

– Rick


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