Last Friday was pretty special, and since it’s still making me happy a week later, I figured I needed to write about it and share it here.
My Last Friday
I started the day by waking up in a 400+ year old monastery in Ecuador, not quite wanting to get out of bed as the fire in the room had gone out overnight and it was a little chilly. But it was the last day of my trip in this beautiful area, and there was free time built into the Chautaqua‘s schedule to take advantage of it. So while curling up with a book in the library would have been nice, I also wanted to get out and see some more of the countryside by foot.
The downside to this plan was that, despite being 7-weeks post foot surgery, I still needed to be pretty cautious and not overdo it. So… when a big group of folks headed off on one more ambitious hike, I decided to opt for the one that was more of a “walk” than hike. Thus, at the fork in the road just a minute or so into the hike, they headed left up the hill, and I headed right, towards a flat lane that would lead me on a pretty easy walk through the countryside.
For a brief moment, I started feeling bad for myself. Getting over this foot surgery has been harder than expected. I really love challenging hikes, and I was feeling really bad about missing out both on a more challenging hike and getting to spend even more time with all these new friends. =(
Luckily, that funk didn’t last long. Less than a minute after splitting off from the other group, I acquired a chaperone. We didn’t speak the same language, but it became clear that he wanted to spend time walking with me and was quite happy to become my chaperone and caretaker as we meandered down a small lane in a tiny town in Ecuador. I named him Fred.
Fred walked with me. Sometimes by my side, ready to stand between me and any other critters that might try to upset me along our journey. (Lest you get too worried about my safety, the biggest threat we encountered was a puppy who barked at us for a while as we passed its house, and Fred made sure the puppy didn’t get too close.)
and stopped to notice the small butterflies resting in the grass along the way.
Then as we reached the end of the road, Fred seemed to understand me perfectly when I said, “Okay, Fred! Time to turn around and go back!”
About halfway back, after Fred and I had said our goodbyes to the cows, I could hear a bit of a commotion around the corner. Fred ran ahead to check it out, and when I rounded the bend, I realized it was the group of hikers that I had been so disappointed not to be able to hike with. Their trail was coming down a steep hill and depositing them right in the lane I was walking along, perfectly timed so Fred and I could walk back to the lovely hacienda with everyone else. Which we did, with me introducing everyone to Fred along the way.
hike walk wasn’t the one I started the day wishing I could have, but I think it ended being exactly the one that I needed. In large part thanks to Fred. And that little guy is still making me happy a week later.
What’s making you happy this Friday?