One hundred and sixty-five thousand white blazes appear along the Appalachian Trail’s 2200 miles. From Georgia to Maine, these markings let you know that you are on your mark towards reaching your goal. As I continued with my trail conditioning today, I realized that blazes appear in many forms to keep us on track. Walking along, I noticed this white arrow that was pointing me in the direction of my urban hike in my little town. Soon there was another and another in this 3/4 mile loop. I take these times of solitude to say prayers and ponder life. I let God know how thankful I am for what he has provided and the blessings he has bestowed on my family.
As I walked along and continued to view my white blazes on this trail, HE began to speak to me. First it was the bark of a squirrel, leading to the loud chirping of birds, chipmunks running across my path and young baby rabbits in clover patches just off the trail. The disk golfers began to appear and the little elderly ladies were on their walks. I love seeing their faces light up when this bearded figure is walking towards them and lets out a friendly greeting. They seem so relieved!!! On subsequent passes, they get friendlier and smile each time you pass coming from separate directions.
Still following these blazes, the world was coming alive on this day. Eight year olds in their fresh baseball uniforms were arriving at the adjacent fields and coaches were beginning their warm up mantras. Moms and Dads were taking their places along the field as their little stars got ready for today’s games.
I must not forget to note all of the beautiful blooms along the trail. What a wonderful design we are as a world of things and beings.
However, my mind keeps coming back to the blazes. They come in many forms. There are the blazes I will follow on sections of the Appalachian Trail, those that show my direction on my conditioning hikes, my Bible, peoples smiles showing you are spreading kindness, and many others. We should get up each day and follow our blazes because these will help us reach our goals. On the trail, there are times when you just want to drop the pack, sit and give up, but you know the reward at the end of the trail. It’s not a physical reward, but rather an internal sense of accomplishment. All other aspects of life should be the same. We should follow our blazes to achieve whatever we wish to attain. They will take us there. Better education, a raise, promotion, ability to walk 2000 miles, volunteering or missions, making a meal for someone or learning or passing on a skill… follow your blazes and you will get there. Don’t set your pack down, but hike your hike to the end of where you want to be.
Today’s blazes took me just under six miles and God provided me so much by reaching out, enlightening and guiding me to the end.