I planned on doing a solo, dinner hike this evening after I got out of work. It is quite lovely that even though I don’t get home from work past 6pm, I still have three hours to get a good hike in at the Columbia River Gorge, with the sunset not happening until a little past 9pm. As I took the train home from work, I had my head buried in my Smart Phone investigating a new sunset hike in the Gorge that I haven’t tried yet. I decided on Latourell Falls, a beautiful waterfall hike that I have done in years past, but have never done at sunset.
After I got home to my apartment from work, I rushed things. I dropped out of my scrubs into hiking threads, whipped up a quick dinner on the stove and tossed it into a plastic container. I grabbed my headlamp, water bottle, notebook, pen, pack and rushed out the door. I cruised along I-84, took the exit to the historic highway and must have took a wrong turn because after driving for miles, Latourell Falls didn’t show up, but the Wahkeena Falls trail head did. I didn’t fight it, I turned my vehicle into the lot. It was nearing 8pm and I was hungry, drooling as I thought about the stove cooked meal still steaming in the plastic container I packed away.
As I walked up the beginning of the trailhead, my ego still fought the fact that we weren’t walking up the Latourell Falls trailhead. “But this hike is laaaaaammmmeeee, it is half the hike that Latourell is and there are tourists every where….look!” My ego whined, but I didn’t acknowledge it, I just kept walking up hill. Wahkeena Falls showed up in my vision ten minutes later. I sat down on a bench kitty-corner to it, pulled out my newest book about lucid dreaming (given to me as a birthday present recently 😊) along with my stove cooked dinner and chilled out on the bench, smiling hello at a few passersby that walked by waving at me.
I filled my tummy up, read a few pages of my book, and then continued on. I decided that I would follow the trail past Wahkeena Falls for at least half an hour, so that I could get a full hour-long hike in. It turned out that twenty minutes past Wahkeena, one of my favorite view points was up ahead, I didn’t remember the name of it. I just remembered it vividly from when a friend and I meditated on a couple large boulders by it a few years prior, with rain pouring down on us. I then realized that I wasn’t too far from another set of falls because I remembered that my friend and I were embarking on a hike to Fairy Falls on that day that we meditated. My ego started to get happy that we would do a longer hike than just Wahkeena Falls.
*The majestic Fairy Falls*
After reaching the majestic Fairy Falls, on my way back down, I kept thinking “I need to write down the name of that viewpoint that is on the way to these falls.” Earlier on I had noticed that there was a plaque on one of the boulders that my friend and I had meditated on years ago, but I had never read it. I just felt that it would be something good to know, especially when my fellow kindred hiker-co-worker would inevitably ask me where my most recent hike was. Also, on the way back from Fairy Falls, my monkey-mind was all over the place and a thought came to me about how when I was five years old, I announced that when I grew up, I wanted to be either a “writer or a teacher.”
That particular thought came to me because pretty soon I will be taking TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) courses in Portland and there have been lots of worries in my mind about how it will manifest…such as which country I will end up in? I thought about how when I was a kid, I truly did know my soul path…as writing is something I have always done, pretty much daily since I was able to figure out how to put a pen to paper. This teaching thing though, this will be coming to fruition, but not in the typical teaching way that I would have envisioned. My monkey-mind went to all sorts of thoughts, lots of fears came up…about relocating to a whole new country to teach and what not, but then a thought popped into my mind, it hit my mind so abruptly that it was as if it wasn’t my own.
“Yeah, but Ilona! If you are passionate about something, you will do it regardless of fear or danger–think about firefighters for an example–they do it all the time!!”
And then I got back to the viewpoint. The sunset had the sky looking as if it were on fire. I sat on the same boulder that I sat on with my friend in years prior. I decided to meditate there again. A few minutes into meditating, it felt as if I was surrounded in light, I felt so peaceful and at one with all of the sounds around me. I opened my eyes, jumped off of the boulder and sat in front of it to finally read the plaque in front of it that I never read years prior.
“In memory of Keith L. Lemmons. Firefighter, who lost his life fighting fire August 1983. As a native Oregonian, he was proud of the beauty of his state and was dedicated to the protection and preservation of this area for future generations.”
Chills ran up and down my body. Many argue on the subject of signs and synchronicities. Many chalk it up to coincidences, but the “woo-woo” in me can’t help but to think there is something more. We are all SO MUCH MORE CONNECTED THAN WE THINK> what do you say? I want to hear your stories on synchronicities, if you have some….please do share!!
*View from Lemmon’s Viewpoint on the way to Fairy Falls*