For some time now, I’ve been wanting to visit Castle Rock State Park located at the top of the Santa Cruz mountains, a special place that towers over a sprawling metropolis to the east while gazing upon the deep blue Pacific to the west. Given its close proximity to my home, it seemed like an easy choice. However, a reluctance would always come over me whenever I thought of visiting there, especially when considering its large volume of visitors. With a unique combination of wandering oak woodlands and redwood forest, it’s no wonder why so many people visit the park.
Just recently, an idea came to visit the park early in the morning. This felt like the right way to experience Castle Rock and so on an early winter’s morning, I set out before sunrise. At one point I questioned why I was getting up so early and even briefly considered abandoning the trip. But something nudged me to go ahead with the plan, and I’m sure glad I did.
I arrived to a nearly empty parking lot. When I started on the trail it was just bright enough to walk without a flashlight and one could begin to make out the silhouettes of trees against a faint blue sky. As the dark of night withdrew and dawn was approaching, there was a great sense of stillness in the forest. This forest energy connected me to a place of inner-calm and before I knew it, a meditative state washed over me as I gently walked in awe of a forest coming to life.
It felt as though an intuitive wisdom awakened from within myself, from which flowed a knowingness that gently brought me in deeper communion with the land as well as a remembrance that I am in my rightful place as part of the magnificent web of life.
Whether its dusk or dawn, these in-between times offer their support in connecting with a sense of reverence. Those qualities that we consider to be sacred and ceremonial fill the air like a healing balm for those souls who’ve become depleted by the stress of modern living.
As the first light of day appears or the twilight slips into darkness, we can focus on our own sacred intention and once again welcome the deep honoring of our soul’s journey.
The ancient mysteries of spiritual growth have been revealed, they are available to all who choose to reflect inward and embark upon the journey of inner healing. The deep fulfillment and happiness that so many seek resides with us and each person has the ability to establish their own sacred connection within. As surely as sunlight brings life to our planet, we all have the capacity to feel at peace.
After reflecting on the experience afterwards, I realized the great value in getting out of our comfort zone. Within that space of discomfort, there can be a catalyst for positive change. In my case, the slight discomfort of waking early would yield great rewards in the form of shifting energy, gaining insight and connecting with inspiration.