Going Further

Over the last couple of days, we’ve done a lot of traveling and a bit of hiking in the Catskills and beyond.

On Sunday, we drove to the western edge of New York where the Delaware River separates this state from Pennsylvania. On the way, we drove through a number of small towns like Livingston Manor and Jeffersonville (self-proclaimed home of “the world’s best milkshake” at a roadside stand) and eventually landed in two quaint towns – Callicoon and Narrowsburg. These are places that attract a number of visitors, so it’s no surprise that both of them were suggested to us by a number of people.

I think Beth liked Callicoon best and I preferred Narrowsburg. It’s interesting, but we both saw the one we liked as the “less touristy” of the two. Just goes to show you how the prism of our perception can be so different. The big draw for Callicoon was the Farmer’s Market and what seemed like a party-goers atmosphere at the brewery and distillary in the middle of town. In Narrowsburg, it was the adjacent neighborhood, walkable to town, that called out to me.

After leaving those two, we hopped across into PA and took an unplanned trip to Honesdale to see the Himalayan Institute where Beth recently trained (online) to receive her 500-hour yoga credentials. The trip was a beautiful one through farmland and tree-lined roads. Honestly, you could blink and assume that you were in North Carolina or Tennessee.

The Institute was closed to visitors that afternoon, but we walked through the grounds with Bradley at our side. Though it was brief, I enjoyed riding through Honesdale. I preferred it to either of the two New York towns. It was a little bigger with a park in the center of town. The layout and the architecture were more pleasing to my eye.

Yesterday, we took in a hike at the Red Hill Fire Tower in Denning, NY. I overcame my fear of heights long enough to climb the tower… twice!

The first trip up was fine until I came to the last 20% when I sat down and was pretty sure that I could not make it. As I considered turning around that close to my goal, though, a voice inside of me said, “just try it.” So, for the next couple of flights, I repeated the words “I am safe. I can do this” over and over. And I did it!

After Beth took her turn, I jumped up to climb the tower, again. I had a theory that the second attempt might not be as scary and I wanted to see if that was true. On some level, I also wanted to release some of my longheld fear of heights – most of which is old trauma – and create new history.

As expected, I got what I wanted – a second, somewhat different victory over my childhood fear. This one was based upon repetition and a willingness to try, try, and try again. And here’s the really cool part – up to that moment in my day, I was feeling a little down and blue. When I returned to the hike, that blue feeling had disappered completely. Letting go of a fear – if only for a while – and replacing it with some courage is wonderful.

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