Have you ever made a decision, knowing instinctively in your gut that things could turn pear shape? And later realised you had little choice but to go through with it, regardless of the consequences.
Who would have thought we’d end up in this mess.
That was us a few weeks ago. Let me backtrack and set the scene.
We’ve travelled into the hills and tracks of the Strathbogie Ranges, our first camping trip after lockdown restrictions had eased. Everything was perfect. We’d found a peaceful camp site at James Reserve in Lima East and had collected our wood and warmth for the coming nights.
On this sunny winter afternoon we had enjoyed an invigorating walk to the summit of the Rocky Ned lookout. A couple of hours later, back in the car, we found ourselves sitting at a cross roads.
From our map we could see that Rocky Ned Track lead to another one down the bottom, a shorter way that would take us back to camp. So, my intrepid husband says ‘let’s take it’.
Down we go. But it’s not long before the track begins to get steeper, rockier and muddy. I’m holding on and taking photos simultaneously.
Three quarters of the way down we’re crawling in low range and manoeuvre VERY carefully down a rocky embankment. Crunch! A few choice words follow and I remember thinking how glad I am that we don’t have to come back the same way. Little did I know.
Finally we’re at the bottom and we can see the other track that was on our map. But that’s when my heart sinks. In front of it a HUGE tree has been placed and there’s absolutely no way we can get around it, even with a chainsaw on board. There’s also a bog hole of mud in front of it. We can’t go forward and we can’t go back. We can’t even get our wheels out of the mud. We’re stuck.
As the scenario unfolded, the worry and fear started to creep in. Who am I kidding, it barged in! No one knew we were down there, it was just us and the rapidly disappearing winter sun. And we had no phone service.
Inside the panic monster was settling in. My mind was imagining all sorts of stranded scenarios. But hubby, at least on the surface, was calm and collected. Thankfully we had a winch on our car. We’d only used it once, locally, and never by ourselves. I had no idea how it operated but I was about to find out.
Over the next couple of hours the adrenalin kicked in as I scrambled up hills and got scratched to smithereens, through the pine forest. I was bellowed instructions from the other half as I learned how to secure the winch onto forest trees. Worries were pushed aside as we relied on each other and became a team in the truest sense. Slowly and with determination we managed to winch our car back up the steep track.
Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles. Charlie Chaplin
I’ll never forget the feeling of exhilaration and relief when we reached the top. Much later, arriving back to camp, our peaceful site had been overtaken. Since we’d left, dozens of cars and campers had rolled up and there were campfires, music and people everywhere. Ordinarily I would have been peeved that our peaceful camp had been disturbed. But instead I was SO happy and grateful to be back amongst it all. There, in our cosy creek side corner was our van and it had never, ever, looked so good. Gratitude, it’s the elixir of life.
So, lessons from our afternoon:
The mind is powerful, so incredibly powerful. It can either work for us or against us. At the start of all the drama I allowed the fear to overwhelm me. But, as soon as I shifted my focus on the solution and not the problem, my focus changed. I won’t say the fear disappeared but it faded into the background. And I was able to concentrate on what I had to do.
We’re stronger than we think. And when we set our minds to something we can achieve it, one way or another. Determination, tactical thinking, hard work and a willingness to do what it takes goes a long way. We simply don’t give up.
Listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right don’t ignore the feeling. How often do we we ignore that little spark of intuition and then afterwards look back and realise how differently things could have been.
We can manifest what we think, the good and the otherwise too. I remember thinking, before we went down the track, how we rarely have trouble on our adventures. I pondered how a bit of action would spice life up. Oh girl, be careful what you wish for! See what happens when we put thoughts into the Universe.
I can laugh about it now. I have loads of action pics and another story to tell and sell. Would we have gone down that track if we’d known it was blocked at the other end? Definitely not. Do I regret it? Not on your life, because that’s what it’s all about, taking the occasional detour, the surprise turn and the road less travelled, even when we don’t know what’s there.
It’s about living life with no regrets, embracing it, with all of its ups and downs, the good times and the crazy times. Yes, we might make some mistakes along the way, but that’s when we learn all those life lessons that make up our story, and that’s when we discover what we’re capable of.
Here’s to daring to be brave, taking a chance or two and not being afraid of the unknown.
Keep enjoying the journey, wherever you are in the world, and be open to the aliveness that comes from embracing the unexpected and being spontaneous. Life might be uncertain in 2020 but perhaps that’s the most important reason of all, to grab it with both hands and live it fully.
In love and light
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.”