Things aren’t always what they seem!

An “unexpected and crazy” thing happened this week. Read and laugh a little!

I was asked to go hiking with a friend, Steve, last weekend up to Pear Lake in Sequoia National Park, one of my all-time favorite trails. Because I’ve been gone so much lately, I opted to stay home. It’s a bummer I didn’t go! And here is why.

As Steve does, he went to a ranger talk in one of those outdoor amphitheaters the night before he hit the trail. A sweet young female ranger began her presentation with a conversation about safety.

It was the same verbiage that I use with clients when guiding retreats in the Grand Canyon.

“Don’t go near rushing water. Don’t climb loose rock. Make sure that you stay on trails and know where you are going. We don’t want any of you to be a casualty in nature.”

And then, it happened.

A picture flashed across the screen as the ranger firmly stated, “And please, don’t do what this woman is doing!” It was an epic shot of a woman with her back to the camera, looking out at the vastness of Sequoia National Park below her. And you guessed it. The picture was of me! Steve stood up and said, “Hey! That’s my friend, Sara! My wife took that picture four years ago on our way to Pear Lake!”

How can I not laugh at the irony of this situation? Me, a safety nut who knows her comfort zone in the wilderness, being used as a token example of what not to do. It’s all quite humorous!

And with one of my all-time favorite pictures, to top it all off.

I was not in danger. In fact, it was on that rock when I chose to walk away from danger!

You see, I hiked that day to clear my head and heart from turmoil. Many people thought I was living a pretty perfect life, but I wasn’t. I had been discovering so many untruths.

And it was at that moment that it happened. Looking into the abyss of trees below, my mind at peace, clarity struck. I realized the need to walk away from my marriage. I remember saying to myself, “You will get through this. It will be ok.” And right then, Steve’s wife just happened to take the picture.

I was far more in danger at home than I was standing on that rock. And in the end, standing on that rock gave me strength to find my safety.

Oh, the irony! 

So after the nature talk and presentation, Steve talked with the ranger. He explained the picture and what it meant to me, just like I did here for you. And her response was classic.

“Yup, being in Nature does that to a person.” This, she and I can agree on.

Just remember … things aren’t always what they seem!


PS: For those wondering, I don’t know how they obtained the shot that’s now in their files and most likely has been used in presentations for the last four years. “A picture really is worth a thousand words.”


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