But within the first half hour of hiking (north up the Bartram Trail), even though there was hardly any rain, I saw tree foam! It seemed like magic to spot that bright sparkle at the base of a tree. But there it was bubbling and glistening. My whole mood shifted, I could feel the fierce grip on my hiking poles soften, and my body relax. After that, I had those moments of hiking bliss where the worries in my head disappeared and I experienced flow.
And I started to dance. Slowly at first. Then, with complete and happy abandon. Dancing alone under the clouds, hands waving in air, rocking out, twirling, swishing, feeling happy in my body, moving enough to stay warm despite the falling temperatures. Moving to the music in my head, then to the music of the wind in the trees. The clouds parted occasionally, beams of moonlight casting shadows on the forest. Bliss.
I zipped up into my hammock by 7:30, completely content. Drops of rain started to fall on the tarp, but I was cozy warm. I slept long and more comfortably than I ever do at home. By morning the clouds had parted again, and I watched the sunrise from the comfort of my hammock.
I was glad I pushed myself by going out alone, despite my fears. I needed all that time to reflect and relax, and be by myself. And I had everything I could ever need out there alone.