War, pandemic, drought, fire, and famine—all these existing simultaneously would feel like world disasters reaching biblical proportions. That seems unimaginable, but watch the news. Each of these is actively happening somewhere in the world.
Modern media has pummeled us so relentlessly with shocking images that many have become desensitized. And yet--
We see an interview with a daughter whose elderly father died in a nursing home without the chance to say goodbye face to face due to the pandemic, and tears rise.
We follow a reporter as a woman shows debris-filled rooms in her home where village children were sheltering for safety until it was bombed, and our tears flow together with the reporter’s.
When historic level disasters occur, we feel compelled to watch the news. Disconcerting as it is to absorb unsettling reporting hour after hour, we almost feel more anxious when we turn it off.
Good souls of the world will always bear witness for each other, but it’s important to take sanity breaks. Briefly escaping the harsh realities of the world through a book, movie, or even an adventurous hike allows me to come back to reality feeling more able to bear troubling news, and to be helpful in some way.
Nothing says mental escape for me more than an engaging pirate tale, whether in books or movies. Years ago I heard about a beach called Pirates Cove in Marin County, which instantly put it toward the top of my wish list. As with other hikes, the time spent pounding feet on a trail to get there put a temporary pause on the world’s troubles.
Taking at least brief breaks from dark news, whether outdoors in nature or in some sort of indoor escape, is necessary for survival. Mind and spirit refreshed, we may come back to the present moment more able to offer a helping hand.
This week’s HikingAutism Hike Notes from the archives is Muir Beach to Pirates Cove, a small beach down a steep rocky hill after walking high ridge trails with glorious views of the Pacific.
This week’s Hike Notes from the Archives:
(Original Hike Notes 4): Muir Beach to Pirates Cove
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