Almost 2 pm. I am sitting in the van parked at the trail head to the Martel-Blanc trail of the Gorges of Verdon, France. The van is parked at the edge of the road with steep cliffs falling below to the raging turquoise water. Steep canyon walls rise above me across the very narrow road.
When we found this overlook, there was no question, time to hike. However, you can run into issues when you can’t understand the long paragraphs on the signs at the trailhead in another language.
Since there is no connection, the online dictionary doesn’t work. I so wish we had brought the big fat paper French dictionary. There are so many times we have needed it. I really wish I could just speak the language. Fluently. High school french was so long ago for me, and I never really solidified my learning by living in a french speaking place or traveling long enough to get to fluency.
We got to a section of trail that went up steep stairs and then headed into dark tunnels full of water. For some, this is exciting. For me, nightmarish.
Oh, they were telling you that you needed headlamps! And possibly other equipment. .. Well, I went on for a bit but it got too scary for me, the Piglet of our family. So, I turned back and Pierre went on. We set a time for me to expect him back, and then a slightly later time for when to look for help.
So, here I sit with my cool, not ice, cafe, trying to calmly write, enjoy the beauty and sounds of rushing water and keep only positive thoughts in my head. Not to let my creeping fears and insecurities ruin the day
I try, really I do. There have been many, many times when I have had to let Pierre and Dale Go and Explore way beyond my comfort zone. I can stretch my limits at times, and try to do so more often than not.
It’s an interesting balance to try to model for our children- when to challenge yourself and when to listen to your fears. Or your intuition. How to know what is really right for you.
When it makes sense to forge ahead past fears, when caution is a wise choice.
I never realized how often our travels and hiking trips gave our family opportunities to practice this – choosing routes, crossing streams, deciding about trails and the weather. As you might guess, this is not the first time I have found something for me to do and a place to wait while the boys …..sometimes it was hikes, or rollerbahnnen, or rafting, or trotti bikes, downhill skiing….Basically fast, steep and downhill don’t work for me.
But it does for them. And I have to trust that they can find their own limits.
First time check. I can spot him on the trail back, taking photos. Sigh.