Ironically, this was written a few weeks ago and I put it aside. For some reason, at the time I wasn’t ready to share this. The picture on my homepage is a beautiful mountain landscape, taken from my favorite hike at Waldo Canyon (and posted prior to the recent fire and destruction of Waldo). Many years ago in 1998 I discovered that hike during a difficult summer of going through a life-changing, traumatic experience. I was very young, and I was trying to put the pieces of life back together. My wonderful parents were with me on most of my many hikes on that trail and were a huge support to me that summer. We spent each two-and-a-half hour hike processing my circumstances and decisions. Most importantly, their unconditional love and support pointed me to God and taught me something about crying out to Him in my time of emotional turmoil.
The years following, I spent many days hiking and running at Waldo Canyon with various friends and family members. I think it became my favorite hike not only because of the beautiful scenery but because of the many important moments I shared along that trail. The best way to describe it for me is I always felt close to God when I was at Waldo Canyon. Sometimes you don’t even realize the meaning behind something until you look back on it, even years later.
In 2002 I began dating my amazing husband. We have almost been married seven years! During our three years of dating, we experienced a lot of outdoor adventures, as we both love to be active. We hiked a lot of trails, including this one! One gorgeous day in May 2005, we decided to hike here. As we were hiking and talking, I was looking at the ground and I noticed a few rose pedals on the trail. The rose pedals became thicker and soon led up to a large rock overlooking the many peaks around us. It took me awhile to get my bearings and piece together my husband’s upcoming proposal. Beside that rock, with my hands in his, he asked me to marry him. One of the pink roses given to me that day was placed on the “rock” and we took the picture you can see on my homepage. That flower was preserved and now sits in a commemorative glass box in our bedroom so that we can remember that special day. But to tell you the truth, this picture means more to me than anything and here’s why: it wasn’t until a few days after our engagement that I was able to realize that a bad story journeyed on this trail intersected with a new story of love and joy. Same trail, different story. The rock where I used to stop and take a water break while pondering a painful journey became the same spot seven years later where I would find a man kneeling with a ring. My husband did not know the meaning of this trail – he did not plan this out. It just happened. And I didn’t see this symbol of redemption until I thought of it later.
Since writing this post, Waldo Canyon had been consumed with fire, and today it still burns. My heart aches. But I’m grateful for the memories and moments I enjoyed there…and I will never forget. And more importantly, I continue to pray for the fire to be contained, and for protection for the homes in jeopardy.
© Kristin Gordley and Moments In The Story, June 2012.