Up early and ready to get back into the woods, Sharon began her second day of hiking at the Leigh Lake trailhead. She steadily made her way back up into the mountains. The terrain was a little more difficult than yesterday. Each switchback was a little steeper and a little longer than before. She was so concentrated on the trail she failed to notice the little sign directing all hikers to Paintbrush Canyon. She continued straight ahead completely missing the hairpin turn of the last switchback and, unknowingly, in the totally opposite direction of where she had planned.
She came across a couple making their way back down the trail.
She stopped and smiled. In between catching her breath she said, “Beautiful day, huh?”
The woman answered, “It sure is. Is this your first time here?”
“Yes it is but it won’t be my last.” Sharon said, “Are you guys coming from Paintbrush Canyon? How much further do I have to go?”
The couple looked at each other a little puzzled. The man spoke up, “Paintbrush Canyon? I think you may have missed your trail. You have to go back that way.” He said pointing in the direction Sharon just came from. She turned around and looked.
“At least it’s downhill.” She said, “Thank you for catching that one. I’m glad I ran into you guys”
“You’re welcome. Have a good hike.”
Sharon sat on a rock at the side of the trail and took a short rest. She grabbed an apple out of her pack, bit into it and took a long drink of water. Once she felt refreshed, she started backtracking. She got back to the hairpin and saw the sign immediately. It couldn’t have been more obvious.
Knowing she was now headed in the right direction, she hiked on confidently. As she got higher and higher into the backcountry behind Mount Saint John the snow was getting deeper and deeper. Finally it became impassable for anyone without snowshoes. She didn’t remember this being on the list of closed trails and she wasn’t ready to throw in the towel yet today. She looked around pondering her next move. She saw what looked like an easier route to the right of the marked trail and up the slope of the mountain. If nothing else maybe she could find a good viewpoint and take some more pictures.
She was now hiking the backcountry of Mount Saint John. An 11,430 foot serrated ridge of rock in the Grand Tetons. The mountain divides Cascade Canyon and Paintbrush Canyon. The trail she had just left was not well maintained and she could tell it didn’t get a whole lot of traffic. There were a lot of other easier trails that afforded views just as spectacular. None of that mattered now anyway. Sharon wasn’t even following a trail anymore. She was following her heart.
The higher she climbed the more foreign the terrain looked. Loose groupings of pine trees were scattered all over making the rest of the granite mountain look exposed. Above that there were no trees. Just the jagged rock the mountain was made from. The top of Mount Saint John is actually a ridge of towers. The summit is only slightly taller than the rest of them. There was no way to get to the summit without climbing gear. Sharon went as far as she could before everything became too vertical to continue. She took her pack off and sat down to rest surveying the distant surroundings from high above. As she gazed out over Jackson Lake and the landscape far beyond she thought about how happy this place made her. The only sound she could hear was the wind blowing. It was a gentle but constant wind changing velocity every so often. Sometimes the sound would be miles away and she could follow it as it closed in on her. It blew around the rocks and through the crevices creating a choir of heavenly voices.
She felt an inner peace like she had never felt before. Out of the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of something dark flying by. A bat was the first thing that came to mind. She wasn’t sure if any bats lived here. Something didn’t make sense. Suddenly there were more little dark shapes flying around. They weren’t bats. They looked like dark shadows that were somewhat shaped like bats. Then there were other shadows shaped like small insects. They seemed to be multiplying and even stranger they all seemed to originate from Sharon like they were flying out of her. She was confused but for some reason she wasn’t scared. As she watched these shapes float and flutter away she felt lighter and lighter. She felt a new energy building inside of her. She found herself smiling with her whole being. It was a feeling she never experienced before.
Slowly all the shadows dissipated until she could see the clear blue sky again. Then the sky started to sparkle like a million stars decided all at once to wake up early and reveal themselves during the day. They were everywhere around her near and far away. Brilliant and dazzling even in the sunlight. Sharon felt like she could reach out and touch them.
As if all this wasn’t enough she watched as the thousands of little stars that were floating around her joined together and became a series of larger brilliant stars. Only these stars were shaped a little differently. They could only be described as light beings. They hovered in the air in front of her. The wind continued to blow a chorus between a howl and a whisper. Then Sharon distinctly heard words coming through.
You are here at this time in your history for a reason. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with others. You are on a sacred journey.
Sharon stood gazing in awe at the messengers. Trying her best to comprehend what was happening.
Be proud of who you are. Be proud of what you have accomplished. Trust yourself and trust your heart for it cannot be wrong. We are here to guide you. We have always been here with you.
The words came through to Sharon loud and clear. There was no mistaking or having to listen over the changing winds. They were the wind. They were all around her and inside of her at the same time.
Sharon thought to herself, “Who are these voices?” And at that moment they answered her question. The brilliant lights floating in the sky above her turned into Angels. They didn’t look as she expected. She was used to seeing the Angels that usually sit atop a Christmas tree or a Cherub in an Italian painting. They looked like neither of these. The winged figures in front of her appeared to be made entirely of light. And when they took their angelic form the entire sky changed from mid-afternoon sunshine to a golden, morning light that emanated a most profound peace and universal love. They stayed for a while as if to reassure her they were really there. Then they flew upward and disappeared into the clouds taking the golden, peaceful dawn with them. The sun returned to shining its bright, afternoon light on the world.
Sharon sat awestruck. She felt the warmth of the sun on her skin. Suddenly she knew it was no accident that she got lost earlier in the day. Or that deep snow prevented her from continuing on the trail. She was led here, off the existing trail because this was exactly where she was supposed to be.
Unbeknownst to her, Sharon was brought there to be cleansed of all the hooks and cords that had accumulated within her over the past few years. They were attachments put there by all the people she helped during that time. In helping them, she had unknowingly taken on their negative energy. This was the reason a person felt so good after talking to Sharon. The interaction left them feeling joyful and relieved. But the negativity she removed from them was weighing her down. It needed to be purged before she could move on. The universe was trying to let her know she was part of a bigger mission.
The nature of the mission was not revealed to her that day. The source of the message did not want to overwhelm her. The message was a primer. It was a trigger for her to start seeking more answers.
Sharon could not ignore what she now considered a call from above. Even if she didn’t know exactly what it all meant she was going to find out. It became abundantly clear that all of these messages and experiences were heading somewhere. Her volunteering, her willingness to help anyone that came to her, her ability to not give up on someone and the attraction that led them to her in the first place.
Why her? She never thought of herself as special. She never had a sense of entitlement. She was a good person but how does that qualify someone to be visited by Angels? If indeed that just occurred. She wasn’t even sure about that yet.