Today started off like a typical Saturday in the Mauldin house. I crawled through a thick wall of bacon odor and made my green tea. We did a little yoga and then watched some European soccer until we formulated the offical weekend plans. The weather was gorgeous, so we decided to take the new Jeep for an off-roading adventure. God, I’m such a redneck (insert “hey yall’s” and denim shorts.)
We headed to Raven cliff falls and Tray Mountain to explore two off-roading trails. The summit of Tray Mountain intersects with part of the Appalachian Trail. For those of you unfamiliar with the AT, it’s basically a 2,100 mile trail from Georgia to Maine. It’s a trail of self-discovery and typically consists of retirees and the post-college “finding myself” pack. It’s blissful and I would give anything to commit to hiking it. I digress.
As we sat on the mountain summit, a greenish forrest dweller approached from the trail. Ahh, ’twas the green of a backpack and the stench of an AT thru-hiker. No sweeter smell, my friends. This gentle man approached our muddy vehicle and told us he was having some heart issues and wanted to know if we could help him into town. Being the healthcare providers we are, we said (in sync) “Yes!”
Meet Zack from Oklahoma. A man on a mission to find himself again after an unexpected career change. It took us an hour to get into town from the summit and over that hour, we shared stories of serondipity, travel, compassion, wanderlust, and sustainability. I asked Zack if we could help him with his medical concerns or call anyone for him. He simply replied, “I trust everything will work out and I have no fear.” And there he went. He walked off into the distance leaving nothing but muddy boot prints and an irreplaceable message in our soul. Life isnt about knowing the answer to everything. It’s about trusting the process. It’s about faith that the stars align to keep you safe. It’s about letting go.
In that one hour, I realized more than all the self-help books ever taught me. Letting go and surrending to what will be is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.
Zack, may you get back on the trail and be safe. Thank you for shifting the trajectory of our day…maybe of our lives. We plan to repay the favor by helping spread some of that “Trail Magic” to others.
Love and light.