A Hike, a Rattlesnake, and a Random Act of Kindness

Ahh, another 7 am hike on a weekend morning. Sun shining, clear blue sky, as it always does in AZ. Early enough where it wasn’t too hot at a comfortable 85 degrees. A rare, consistent summer wind kept it nice and cool. Perfect conditions.

What are your Sunday mornings like?


“Be like water.” – Bruce Lee

What’s new?

I have been feeling great these past four days. Not that the previous 30 and beyond were bad, but I’ve had an amazing streak of happy thoughts, optimism, and gratitude. When we first moved and basically up until this point, I have always felt rushed. Like this wasn’t our new home. With so many places to see and things to do, it continues to be tough for me to not be overwhelmed. Add knowing nearly no one and 15+ minute drives to anything of substance, an untamed mind wanders to some weird shit.

It hit me especially hard today that this is the first time in my life where I have been alone. Not to be mistaken with loneliness it is important to make the distinction between the two. And I am coming around to enjoying this new perspective on aloneness.

I love you man reference

“I gotta find some f*cking friends”

Some thoughts on aloneness

This aloneness will soon be replaced so why not see it is a great opportunity to truly find who I am and what I want in my life? There are little distractions and beautiful hikes that set me up to let my mind wander. And to face the things and thoughts that give you the most trouble in life. Call me cheesy, but I’m a sucker for activities that help you discover new things about yourself.

This aloneness helps grow an inner peace that was always been there but only needs space to grow. The challenge will always be taking that inner peace you feel on a trail sitting on top of a sweet mountain and applying it to the weirdness of everyday life is something that I feel makes a person great.

In life, there are more things that can go wrong than right. So why do we fixate on expectations on the things we want or do when the rareness of them can sometimes only be explained by good fortune?

Canyon lake

Cool 360 view

The goal in my life will always be to string one good thing to another and release the negative energy of the bad things. Insert a couple recent quotes to illustrate a life philosophy to live by.

“In any situation, be relaxed, keep calm, take a friendly attitude, have faith and do your best. Do this, and usually, things turn out alright.” – Power of Positive Thinking

“A man who is self-reliant, positive, optimistic, and undertakes his work with the assurance of success magnetizes his condition. He draws himself to the creative powers of the universe.” – Power of Positive Thinking

“Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Mark 4:40

A rattlesnake

From the beginning of the hike, I noticed that there was about the same amount of sun and shade on the trail. A fact that right now may seem odd but will soon be relevant. As I walked the trail, I passed by a group on the way to the top. A girl mentioned that I had startled her because she had seen a rattler (that means rattlesnake. Also, every time I go to type rattlesnake, I want to write rattlesnack) off the trail earlier in the hike.

I hadn’t seen it and shrugged it off not letting it affect me in any way. I have found its better not to think about those little bastards.

After some time passed at the top, being in a high state loving life, I began my trek down. The group that was previously in front of me was long gone by then.

About midway through my hike back down, I came across the snake. He was camouflaged on the trail facing the opposite direction in a slightly shaded area. I identified it only by its black and white tail that I ironically I had researched and discovered no longer than a week ago. It took my brain a slight second to recognize and process the tail as my left foot rose to take another step before catching myself.

The snake heard me and quickly spun around coiling up in the same motion into that classic photographed striking position rattling quickly.

Holy shit did I freeze. Its diamond shaped head was staring straight through me moving side to side ever so subtly. In that moment I was stuck between the decision to move quickly or slowly back away. I began to back away slowly. Once I was a “safe” distance away from the snake I was entranced watching in awe feeling the adrenaline throughout my body. I began to get chills in the moments after I made my route around it thinking about what the outcome might have been.

What a rush.

No, I didn’t take a picture. F that.

A Random Act of Kindness

Still buzzed from what transpired in the past hour, I couldn’t help but just laugh the rest of the way down. I mean, I was in a flow state and then that happened. It only intensified the feeling of life. What a world we live in, right?

When I got back to the car, I put my stuff in the passenger side and walked around the car. As I get to my driver side car door, I see $15 tucked into my window towards the top. Immediately, I looked around, dumbfounded, thinking that I would be able to see someone and ask them about it.

But there was no one.

Why me? Why now? There were about 10 other cars in the parking lot with three directly next to mine. Why my car? Again, I couldn’t help but just laugh and smile.

Random Act of Kindness

Not just a 10. A 5 too.

When you’re a recipient of something like that you have two options: keep it for yourself or pay it forward. Of course, there are many things I would like to do with found money, but that feeling of being a RAK recipient was too cool not to want to share with someone else with the hopes that the next person feels that same feeling.

I decided I’m going to keep the cash handy in my wallet and wait for a moment of inspiration to pay it forward. Good stuff.

What’s next, young Kyle?

Despite a rocky start, things are growing increasingly better each day. These next two months are set up to be incredible. A favorite artist playing nearby, a live show with “the Minimalists”, Vegas with the boys, cooking class with wifey and whatever else I can dream up.

How lucky am I?

I used to spend a lot of time with the question, how can I be better? These thoughts bother me less and less these days and are being replaced with two major themes:

  • What is my definition of the human experience for me?
  • How can I discover who I am and what can I do to be myself?

I think it starts by simplifying my life philosophy and applying it to everything in life. Give it a shot. And check out this podcast episode.

“What remains except to enjoy life by joining one good thing to another so as not to leave even the smallest interval between” – Marcus Arelius, Meditations

Cheers, scoundrels.


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