Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday's Walk -- my Journey to the Ridge


Today's memory is pretty simple. It's the moment I fell in love with Radnor Lake and Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, both close to where I live in Nashville.

I mentioned in my last post that there were 4 women from my church who were instrumental in my recovery. At their suggestion, I took a "personal retreat" for 3 days in June of 2005. I stayed at one of their houses so that I wouldn't have MY house to distract me, I stayed off my phone (SO hard) and off the internet. It was a time of drawing closer to God and learning more about myself.

On many levels I hated it, but it was exactly what I needed.

The first day I went to Radnor Lake. Honestly, I had lived here for 6 years at that point and I don't think I had ever visited before.

Now, it's important to remember that even though I was at a healthy weight I was NOT healthy. I was eating a very small amount of calories per day, and working most of those calories off. So I decided that this would be a great place to hike off the meager lunch I had eaten. I also chose the most strenuous path in the place--Garnier Ridge.

I shouldn't have. I wasn't in a good place physically and there was no one else on the path. Although I never got dangerously close to an edge, or blacked out walking (as I often did those days) the thought crossed my mind that I could pass out, hit my head on a rock, and it would take HOURS for someone to find me.

It was the first time I ever thought "I could die out here."

It was part of the turning point that my 4 friends and confidantes had prayed for. By realizing that I could die out there it finally hit home that my addiction could actually kill me. I, of course, knew that. In my head. But that was the first time my heart realized the truth.


Before the hike up the Ridge
I'm thrilled to report that I've returned to Radnor many times since that first visit. And I can now confidently hike the ridge without that awful feeling. Recovery has been amazing!

I'm not going to write a whole lot about Cheekwood, except to say that the day I went was a heat advisory day. No one was supposed to be out if they could help it. Which was actually kind of nice. First of all, I was always cold, so it felt great to me! Secondly, I got to enjoy the solace of my favorite spot of Cheekwood by myself. The Japanese water garden...is amazing.

The path leading there

A view of the garden--it was built to be enjoyed from the viewing pavilion, so I made sure to take pictures from that vantage point
part of the "outskirts" of the garden. I have this thing for walkways, roads...





Photobucket

15 comments:

Sally-Ann said...

Thanks for sharing your memories of what must have been a difficult time. I love the photos, it is a beautiful area

HappyascanB said...

Lora, Thank you for sharing such a fragile, intimate part of yourself with us. I cannot imagine what you've been through, but I rejoice with you that you had women to cover you with prayer during that time. So glad to hear you've been able to return to these beautiful spots in recovery and enjoy Gopd's beauty!!

Patricia said...

Thank you for sharing an important memory in your life. I love the pictures. Wish I could walk there right now.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Beautiful!!! What an amazing place...

Shanda said...

Absolutely gorgeous! What a wonderful idea to "retreat" at someone elses house too...I'm going to have to give that one some thought. I often limit myself b/c I cannot "afford" a retreat...

Thank you for sharing your journey. HUGS!

Terri said...

How breathtaking! I enjoyed reading you post. Thanks for visiting my blog! I will certainly give your cute bag a vote!!! Stop by again soon!

Tanya said...

Thank you for sharing about your difficult time. Looks like it was a beautiful place to recover in.

Daisigirl said...

That place looks amazing! So tranquil! Thank you so much for stopping by today! Have a great Wednesday!

Jaycee said...

Wow! It is breathtaking! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

Ashley said...

Thank you for being willing to share about such a difficult and private part of yourself. I love people/blogs that are willing to do that. The pictures are beautiful!

Lynnette Kraft said...

What a beautiful place. Absolutely loved the pictures. Now I'm off to read your last post so I can understand better about what you were recovering from. I'm a very curious person, but more than that I love stories of healing.
Lynnette

Clare said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. You live in the city where I have always dreamed of moving to one day. Thank you for showing me these beautiful places. Have a lovely Thursday and please come back and visit me. I will follow you if you follow me. :)

Aspiemom said...

I will have to come back to visit when I can go back and read your story.

But for now, it's nice to read that you have come through a hard time and that you had wonderful women to help you. Thanks for sharing! (I live near Chattanooga)

Bethany said...

Wow, what a pretty place!! I know you've come a long way and you are doing fabulously!!! Praying for you always :)

Linda said...

I am so glad that you found peace and healing in that place. God is so good! And I love that people cared so much about you to advise you to,... be still and listen for God's voice.
That was a beautiful place to find refuge.
God's Continued Blessings!
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits