Today’s post is about roots: both literal and figurative. The inspiration comes from the writhing, tortuous roots we encountered along the trail on today’s hike. Seeing how these roots have grown, spread, and connected over years of surviving and thriving in a harsh environment gives us cause to reflect on the roots we grow in our own lives.
This was the much-anticipated Second Annual Bring-A-Friend hike. So it is fitting that we are discussing roots, because the roots of our lives are the friends and family who support and nourish us. By sharing meaningful events, such as this hike, with our special people, we strengthen our roots. It is also important to recognize that, as a group, we have become roots for each other.
Despite the brooding weather, we managed to dodge the torrential rain that plagued other parts of Ontario. And we found some bright splashes of spring along the trail:
This portion of the trail, through the Beaver Valley, is proof that the Bruce Trail is all about the journey. We are currently heading south down the east side of the valley. If it was all about going north to Tobermory in the most efficient way possible, no one in their right mind would take a 90 kilometre detour! But the Beaver Valley is so beautiful that we are content to forget about Tobermory and enjoy our meandering path.
The big sturdy trees are not the only notable plants along this trail. We encountered some delicate yellow lady’s slipper orchids, another sign of spring:
And, it wouldn’t be a day on the trail without some treacherous downhill clambering. It was even more fun than usual because the earth was wet and slippery.
Sometimes you see a really gutsy thing that nature has done and you are just so impressed with the force of Life. This fern grew up right through a thick slab of birch bark!
One of my very favourite places on this hike was a spectacular natural passage through steep rock walls. It was a good workout for those urban muscles that sit all day!
Since our theme is roots, I wanted to share this photo of the trees growing along the edge of this crevice. I am filled with admiration for any organism that can grow and thrive while clinging by its roots to rocky walls.
Soon enough, it was time for lunch. Because the Limestone Ladies know that one must nourish one’s roots with excellent food, a delicious buffet lunch appeared as if by magic. It helped to find a handy picnic table sitting in a clearing!
Eventually we reached a lookout where we enjoyed views of the Beaver Valley. We could gaze west at the slopes of the former Talisman Ski Resort and further south to Beaver Valley Ski Club.
Trees, like people, live in community. Their roots are intertwined. Their branches weave together. They sway and bend in harmony. Living together keeps each individual tree healthier and allows the elders to nurture the young.
The last segment of the trail was inhabited by some of the best roots of the day.
We all have roots, mostly unseen. Today’s hike put those roots on display, to remind us that we don’t just skim over the surface of the earth. We weave a web of connections and mutual dependence that anchors us and keeps us strong through hard times and keeps us company in good times. The trees know to seek sustenance for their roots.
I think we did a pretty good job of nurturing and strengthening our roots today.