The Citadel

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I was recently in Utah for vacation. Hiking, camping, canyoneering, and generally just being away from it all. It was divine.

One of our day hikes was to a rock formation called The Citadel. The hike to the Citadel was extremely trying for me. The further along on the trail, and the higher onto the rocks we went, I realized my tennis shoes were not the wisest choice. As we climbed I had to trust not only myself, but my footing, my hold, and those with me (we were vacationing with friends) who were much more experienced in rock climbing. I had to trust that moving forward and moving up was actually going to lead me somewhere beneficial. There was definitely trepidation. Especially, when I was on hands and knees crawling 20 feet across a rock ledge whose only exit was straight down. 500 ft down. Shear cliff face. With wind blowing head-on. Yet, I kept moving forward. Up, over, and through. Until we reached it -The Citadel. Anasazi ruins dating back thousands of years lined the point of the Citadel. This nesting place of ruins held safely by canyons below, rock walls alongside, and blue expanse above. 6000 Ft elevation. An incredible journey worth each hesitant step.

I shared this experience with my Spiritual Director when she asked me about my favorite part of the trip. After I shared the story she smiled and said, “no wonder it was your favorite experience, you just described the spiritual journey.”

Though we may never be fully prepared (i.e. tennis shoes) we step forward. With hesitation, struggle, and wind at our face, we move on. Trusting that other’s steps have gone before us. Trusting that we are not alone. And at some point, the view opens up and we are able to marvel at our surroundings. Grateful for the path, however turbulent, that led us there.

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