Hiking Reflections + An Irish Blessing

It was a cold St. Patrick’s Day weekend, but the warmth of the sun brought reminders that spring is coming.

Today, on St. Patrick’s Day, I sat outside while Hunter and Scout ran in the park. It was peaceful and quiet and the sun was shining warmly on me. I was reminded of the lovely Irish blessing:

“May the road rise to meet you, and the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm on your face, and the rains fall softly on your fields.

I’ve always thought that was beautiful and something I would wish for all my friends and family (and strangers too!).

But the sun is not always shining…

I also found a great trail this weekend that was pup-friendly. Well, I was expecting a trail but some of it was quite rocky and steep! It was definitely a hike and as I was climbing some of the rocks – no small feat with two dogs – I reflected on all of the hiking I’ve been blessed with over the past year.

A cold and steep hike I took in February particularly struck me.

Harper’s Ferry National Park

Sometimes the path is steep, and barren. It’s lonely. It’s hard.

And yet you just have to keep going.

There are glimpses of beauty and streams of restoring water along the way where you can stop to rest.

And there is one who is beside you all along, who will never abandon you.

You are headed to new places, and to new heights.

Beauty can often only be seen from the top.

Maryland Heights, Harper’s Ferry National Park

As a new year unfolds from St. Patrick’s Day 2019, my prayer for you IS the Irish blessing.

But even more deeply, during those times when the sun is not shining, when you’re trying to find your path – or just any path – when it’s a steep road ahead…my desire for you is Habakkuk’s prayer.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

The Sovereign Lord is my strength!

He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NLT

A few more pictures for inspiration. And may you always be surefooted in your steps!

Made it to the top of Maryland Heights! Feb. 2019

Climbing the rocks was worth it! Cascade Falls, Patapsco State Park, March 2019

Views like this along the way remind me of living waters.

Lots of steep hiking in Italy, but the views (and gelato), definitely made it worth it!