Happiness, Silence, Gratitude & Looking Back

Happiness, Silence, Gratitude & Looking Back

Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.  If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.  ~Fyodor Dostoevsky

Armstrong tree

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I spend a lot of my holidays hiking.  For my Christmas Day hike this year I went up into the big trees and hiked through the Armstrong Redwood Grove in Northern California.  It was a particularly good hike and given the holiday and the fact that trail I was on was pretty steep there were very few people that I encountered for most of the day.  I love hiking in redwood forests, the lack of significant understory, the darkness and the dampening of sound makes for a really peaceful environment.


One of the things that made this hike particularly special was the opportunity for some rare natural quiet.   Natural quiet being the ability to stop and hear no man-made sound, within the gullies on the hike you could hear nothing at times, not even any birds.  It’s amazing how self aware you become when things are that quiet, hiking starts to become more like meditation under those conditions.

armstrong 3

On this hike I got thinking about the last year, I really don’t like all of the top 10 lists we’re subjected too at the end of each year, but I do believe the end of the year provides a good anchor point for looking back.  Over this last year a lot has happened, of course that is every year, I’ve lost people, some have died and some well I just lost them.  I’m grateful for the good things that happened and am excited in a few days to look into my jar of good things from the year.

armstrong 4

Recently I’ve met someone and a really interesting part to it is seeing yourself reflected in the eyes of someone who is just learning about you for the first time.  Sometimes that view is a little more objective than our own.  This got me to thinking on the hike and really looking at how much I’ve accomplished in my life.  You see in my mind, I haven’t accomplished that much because there is still so much more I want to do in my life, but this may be what’s twisting my mirror when I look into it.  You see once I started enumerating all of the things I have done, I had to be proud of what I’ve done particularly given where I started out.  So I took my own advice and smiled and took pride in what I’ve accomplished, the impacts I’ve made and I had a happy day my friends.

Armstrong 5

So here’s what I want you to do, I want you to take a few minutes and do what I did, enumerate all of the good things you’ve done and be proud of yourself and smile.  Be grateful for what you have and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Some other posts you might enjoy!

My favorite AT photos from 2015

Thru-hike Gear Lists

Thru-hike FAQ’s – Part 1

My Appalachian Trail Resources Page

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Trail Community

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Precious Moments

Appalachian Trail Happiness: My Favorite Little Hiker

About Michael Kane

Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His books on hiking and poetry are available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon.
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