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wisdom from the trail – benches

June 23, 2015

While we are in a hiking lull, at least relative to our frequent hiking dates in April, May and June, the wisdom from from the trail continues.

Along the trail, every once in awhile, sometimes in literally the middle of no where, you come across a bench.  The benches vary in appearance, with some having a permanent metal leg construction and others appearing to be more homemade like perhaps they were assembled in the woods.  Sometimes the bench includes a plaque or sign indicating who is responsible for the bench being there.  We like it when this is the case, as we like to take a moment and say the name of the person out-loud.  However in most cases, the bench just appears around a bend or at the top of the hill.

We have decided to sit on every bench we come across.  This is the wisdom from the trail – sit on every bench you see, you don’t know when you find the next one.  The bench is a great chance to take a break, to look around (rather than at the ground so you don’t trip).  We have learned that until you sit on the bench you don’t really know why the bench was placed there, but we have learned to trust that it’s placement isn’t random.  Generally sitting on the bench results in a beautiful view, often of a sweeping valley and in the sections we have hiked rolling hills.  Seizing the chance to sit on every bench we come across, reminds us to slow down.  To enjoy the moment.  To look around around us.  To be reminded of the wonder of nature and the beauty of Ontario.

This past weekend, I stopped by a local body of water so my dog could swim.  On the short walk back from the swimming spot to the car, I passed a bench.  I must confess that while I thought of the wisdom “sit on every bench”, I didn’t stop, I didn’t sit.  I wonder what I missed.

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