It was the middle of summer last year and I went to visit family. While there, I took one afternoon away and spent a few hours wandering through a small town near Lake Huron’s blue green hues. You can usually find me by the shore if there’s water nearby, if I’m not wading in knee deep or swimming altogether. The quiet whisper of the water rolling into the shore when the lake is calm and the persistent rumble of the tossing waves coming back into the beach is a language that speaks of home.
The few days I went to visit family though and this particular visit to the lake brought with it so much stunning beauty. I stopped at the top of the hill near Goderich, Ontario’s main beach to look down for the lake colors I’d loved seeing when I visited with family as a child and I wasn’t disappointed.
Clouds rolled in and out, with the sun jostling for it’s share of the sky as rain tried moving in from the western side of the lake.
Despite the intermittent clouds, I was still in heaven as I drove down to the dog park and followed the trail. It’s a general rule I keep that if there’s pathway I take it but where time permits and less travelled paths appear, I explore without hesitation.
The small trail didn’t disappoint, and led me to another small trail beneath a hill, set aside from the main beach and other people walking it that day.
Exploring wasn’t just something I was doing in the world around me but also in the depths of my person as well. It was within a few weeks of leaving my former job in search of pastures that were better suited to the skills I brought forward. It was a terrifying leap but one I knew I had to make because as the quote by my beloved Maya Angelou goes, “There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
The theme ran deep and kept me awake some nights because I was taking leaps in other places as well, that ultimately led to positive destinations, though at the time the water was muddy and unclear. What helped me get through was losing myself in Nature around me and finding comfort in seeing family I adored.
Taking another side trail to a bridge off the main path, I went below and into a creek that spoke less of the water running through it and alluded more to a different time altogether.
Once I got back to the main beach and curled up in a spot by the water with the book I was reading at the time, Find Your Extraordinary by Jessica Herrin. While reading a few chapters, the last one I read quietly popped up and was the one I needed most. Titled “Path of Least Regret” I knew that I was being comforted and reminded that though challenging, the choice to move my career forward was a good one.
It’s easy to get carried away with worry but as the waves, warm breeze on one of the hottest days of the summer and quiet that surrounded me, I found my place of peace and stayed there. I once heard a recording by Esther Hicks where Abraham said that when chaos and negative feelings arise it’s best to find the eye of your hurricane and just stay there. Though certainly not a hurricane, I found my eye and settled in for a wonderful afternoon and remaining few days with family.
I found a separate hiking trail that led to a bridge overlooking a marsh and though I didn’t follow it all the way because the heat got to be too much, I did venture a short way to see the sights before returning to the beach.
When I stopped before heading back out, I saw a white feather on the beach and before long, while on the way back to the car, found another of my signs that I was settled on the right track.
There in the sand lay a heart-shaped rock embedded in the sand. It took my worries, judgements and fears, leaving them at the waves.
It’s easy to act like we know what we’re doing all the time but the truth is that we’re all figuring it out as we go along and the peace we find in the “not knowing” is the creative part of the journey where joy lives. I learned that if we’re led by a desire for peace with our sights set on love as the goal, the answers may not be clear but the outcome will always be beautiful.
The hearts told me so.