Friday, August 15, 2008
Of Wormholes and Life
When a group of 13 intrepid hikers set out on Doc's Super Hike in the Black Hills, we had no idea how challenging it would be. This unmarked hike was developed years ago by a man who liked to squirm through small spaces he called "wormholes." This hike was up, down, over, under, and through granite, creeks, bogs, sheer cliffs, fallen trees, and slippery pine cones. By the time it was over, we all felt we'd accomplished something. Many of us had scrapes and bruises to prove either the difficulty of the hike or our lack of coordination.
The wormholes our hiking guide took us through were each different--rock passageways so small as to be unnoticeable to the average passerby. A person can fit through there? A friend said that in New Hampshire these places were referred to as "lemon squeezers," an apt name considering how the granite grated our skin!
Each wormhole along the trail posed its own challenges. Some were easier for tall folks, some for short. Some tested balance and coordination more than others. We all made it through--not to go through would have been even more difficult!--with the help of the others. Helping hands, boosts, pulls, grabbing packs, and giving directions made us a triumphant team by the end of the journey.
One wormhole was especially difficult because I couldn't see where I was going. My head was above the rock and my shoulders squeezed and twisted through the opening. My arms struggled to hold me up while my feet sought purchase on rock below--if there WAS rock below! Was it far? Would I fall? If I fell, would I be okay? Could I breathe going through the tunnel? How badly would I get scraped? Finally, like the hikers before & after me, I let myself go, found the foothold, and scrambled out into daylight.
Our guide remarked that the wormhole was a test of faith. He's right. I have learned that in wormholes--and in life--in the darkest of times, if I keep going, the light will come.