I kissed my wife and two kids, goodbye as I stepped out of the house. I could tell they were missing me already; just the same way I was missing them too. I wouldn’t have gone on the hike if my wife had not encouraged me to go. Our first child just got better from a sickness that had kept him in the hospital for two weeks, but she understood that my few days hike would help me to process a lot, especially when I experienced an idea block, or wanted to come up with a solution to a problem I was facing at work.
“Don’t worry dear, it’s just for a couple of days; we will be fine,” she told me the previous night. “Go refresh for all of us.” Those words got me wanting to go.
It was one of those moments when I needed to make some certain changes and decisions, which included cutting down the number of staff under our employ. We couldn’t afford to pay the number of workers in our employ because of the economic meltdown. However, I wanted to weigh in all the other options we had and try to make sure it was the only solution before I took the step. Although I hope and pray I could come up with something, because I hated to take the source of income of people away from them; neither did my wife.
“I know, and I trust you to come up with another way around the situation,” she said the first day I told her about our position in the office and, I told her I would make certain that I exhausted every option there was.
The woods provided a place for me to be at peace with the world; a place where I could focus on one solution at once without getting distracted by other things out there in the world. So I would walk miles on miles, enjoy the peaceful nature; the industriousness of intelligent creatures in the woods.
Many times I do not come up with the ideas I sought while in there in the woods and other times I would come up with it in just a few hours of getting there, but the refresh I felt led me to the path of the idea.
This time around, I decided that I would be spending a few days in the woods, longer than I usually did, because I intended to get to the canyon just beyond the reserve; which would take me a two days walk to get to and back to the woods. So I packed for an extra two days; a dehydrated food that would last me for four days and a solo tent.
If I decided to walk to the woods at the National Park, it would take me up to a day to walk there, but I would hitchhiking when I got to the highway to make my journey quicker to the woods which was my main place for the hiking.
I took the twenty minutes to walk to the highway and got lucky just after a few minutes of getting there. A trucker I had stopped asked me to hop on, and he gave me the lift to just where I was going to. I thanked him for his kindness and stepped into the woods as he drove off.
If I said the woods looked different from the last time I was there, I would be lying. And if I said it didn’t look different from the last time, I would still be lying. There was always this feeling I got whenever I got into the woods that usually gave me a unique calmness each time, which was quite different from the last time I was in there. This calmness made me feel like I was about to start growing with the trees as I walked through them, and to my ultimate refresh. The canyon was my target this time, so I tried to make my walk a bit faster than I usually did, and at the same time, try to take in the sights I encountered in the woods.
I walked for about two hours before I decided to take my first rest since I left home. I sat by a huge tree trunk and took a long swig from the bottle of water in my pack, broke a bit of meat and started to chew. I rested for about half an hour and then continued on my journey.
By the time I got to the entrance that led to the canyon, it was already nightfall. I looked for a place I believed was safe to camp and set my tent for the night. I made fire at the front of the tent to keep warm for a few hours before I went into the tent to sleep and also to keep off insects.
I had a noise from far away in my sleep and woke with a start. At first, I did not know what my eyes were seeing, but when I got my vision clear, I saw a rhino trying to put out the fire I had made earlier that day. I found it very hard to believe that I wasn’t dreaming or imagining it. There wasn’t supposed to be any rhino in this part of the woods, and I was staring at one right in front of me putting out a fire, trying to safeguard the forest.
At that moment it all came clear to me, my purpose in life, as a managing director of the company where I worked. I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night. I was eager to go back. But in the morning I decided to take my time, so I completed my hiking through the woods, got to the canyon, and feeling a new vigor and excitement. It turned out to be my best hike of all time. I stayed at the top of the canyon and screamed to the word with joy.
My wife, upon seeing the brightness on my face as I got back from work, said to me, “I’m proud of you, darling.” I smiled back and embraced her.