Heading Downwards

Up in the mountains, the end of winter is always a bit difficult for hikers.
There is not enough snow left to really enjoy snowshoeing, but still too much
to walk without them higher up – you get wet feet and/or slip on the
icy ground.
Now is the time to hike below the village, to head towards the bottom of the
valley, but like most of the people living here I always hesitate. Not because
it’s not nice – it is beautiful down there: lots of nice winding paths, flowers,
butterflies and variegated views. The thing is, when you hike downwards, the
ascent is at the end, when you’re already tired…! As with so many other things
I hesitate to do, this is mainly a “head problem”, a question of adjusting my
approach. I just need to save my forces, adapt my pace on the way up, and not
be stingy with pauses.
The other day I decided to head downwards, left my mittens and scarf at home and
packed a bottle of water instead of the thermos with tea. It’s amazing how much
warmer it is further down and how much more spring has advanced! The difference
is said to be 0,8C per 100 altimeters, so where I went it was almost
4 degrees warmer.
In the arid slopes heading south lots of butterflies fluttered around; both peacocks,
small tortoiseshells and orange tips. Fruit trees in bloom everywhere and heaps of
tender stinging nettles to pick. All through the winter I’ve been longing for my
spring favourite, the nettle soup, so a real treat awaited me that evening.
And guess what? The ascent back home turned into a lovely mindfulness practice,
where I dropped my goal orientation and just enjoyed nature’s beauty, my muscles
working, and my breath compensating the effort. As I passed an open field halfway
up I lay down in the dry grass, closed my eyes and felt the sun heated ground wrap
me with tender arms. Taking my time to feel nature that way always restores
happiness and energy and lifts me up where I belong.

Full spring down in Ossona

This entry was posted in Hiking, Nature and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *