For caregivers tasked with maintaining the health, safety and hopefully happiness of a loved one unable to function independently, every day is a mixture of stark contrasts. Dark, doubtful moments are hopefully counterbalanced by a sense of goodness and gratitude.
This may be even more true for the individual dealing with the extraordinary challenges. A parent with dementia and mobility issues. A child with autism, neurosensory disorders, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy. A loved one dealing with a head injury, stroke, or seizures. The list is infinite.
It would be very easy for an affected individual or a caregiver to fall into depression or despair. The ability to look beyond the darker parts of a day—or a week, a year, a decade—and find light and hope, is a key to survival. Gallows humor is another saving grace. If we couldn’t laugh through our toughest moments, we would not be able to go on.
Seeing the light beyond the shadows is an ongoing theme of HikingAutism.com, because it is such a core element for carrying onward.
This is a basic truth for any person, any community, any country. When things are at their darkest, we stop, remind ourselves of the goodness in ourselves and others, and keep moving ahead.
Taking that brief moment every day to absorb nature’s comforts—a view from a hilltop, the smell of fresh earth underfoot on a trail, an ocean vista, a flower popping up through a city sidewalk, a small plant we’re tending in our kitchen window—helps remind us of the bright spots.
Keep putting one foot forward!
This week’s Hike Notes, Fort Miley at Lands End, takes readers to an easily overlooked hill above San Francisco’s Lands End that has history embedded within its woodsy scenery.
The long list of Hikes can be found on the Quick View Hike List and on the main Hikes page. All past Insights posts can also be viewed in the Insights/Hike Update News archives.
Check the Home page for the broader background story. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photo galleries at the bottom of each hike page! Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Please feel free to share.
New this week:
Hike Notes 124: Fort Miley at Lands End
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.