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It's Not How You Start!

Black Women Paused for a Picture During a Hike
Ch. 77 - Benton Falls, TN - 5.4.24

I borrowed that title from my friend and Experience Curator, Camille P., because it spoke volumes. Keep reading and you'll understand this truth!!

As we prepared for chapter seventy-seven of Ch8sing Waterfalls in Benton, TN, as we always do, we kept a close watch on the weather to best determine what Mother Nature's attitude would look like on Ch8se day. Planning for chapter seventy-seven, which unfolded on May 4, 2024, forecasted rain and thundershowers the morning of our Ch8se. The projection; however, showed a high percentage of rain during our drive time, with the possibility of slight rain during our hike.

With this information in hand, we proceeded as planned. While on our drive to Benton, TN, just as projected, about forty-five minutes into the drive, the clouds opened up and poured down buckets of rain that nearly made it difficult to see. We paused, and assessed our position, our plan, and our procession. We rarely have had to cancel a Ch8se; however, the few times we have canceled, it was due to the wrath of Mother Nature, and beyond our control.

At this point, we had all packed, prepared and planned for the weather, and many of us had driven an hour to the meet-up, with an additional two-hour drive in front of us, so with all of this in mind, nothing in me wanted to cancel and return home. After all, we had come so far, and truth be told, I needed this Ch8se, and later discovered that quite a few of us also needed this time in community, in the woods, with the healing magic of the waterfall awaiting our arrival.

Just as we, myself, Reesie, and Queen Lynn were crafting a mass text to cancel the caravan and return home, our Ch8ser and friend, DeKimberline had just arrived to the trailhead, before us and reported that there was only a light sprinkle happening. Look at God!! We changed the text and proceeded as planned. This was one of those times that I was truly grateful that someone had arrived ahead of us to give this report, because we had mentally begun to turn around, concede defeat, and toss our hands up to Mother Nature, congratulating her on her victorious wrath! But God by way of DeKimberline!!

My heart and my nerves had been in my stomach all morning and I was struggling big time. In this big age, I don't get nervous; however, my nerves act up without my consent, which I realize to be anxiety and stress. I'mma need those twins to leave me alone, cause I've got thangs to do, and I'm perfectly fine doing so without those two tagging along. This, I will work on. The good news is we all made it safe and sound without incident or a shituation. Yep, I said what I said. Tis life!!

We arrived to the trailhead, and in true Ch8se fashion, after being bullied by Mother Nature, the sky dried it's eyes and ushered us to the trail. It was a test, it was all a test, and this one, we all passed, and I call victory for us all!

My friend Tarri S. shared with me years ago, a quote which reads: "She who is flexible cannot break!" Baby, you would think we were elastic, because our flex game is strong in us all! Even in the moment of uncertainty, a way of escape became apparent to allow us to press on. My Queen Champion of Ch8sers, Lynn J. also gave us a beautiful quote in the midst of it all, that resonates with me as well, and it is: We Pause, Pivot, Proceed and Persevere!! Pause (stop and evaluate), Pivot (establish a new game plan), Proceed (Move), Persevere (Keep going in spite of any difficulty)!

Let that sit with you.

We celebrated Mother's Day by presenting each Ch8ser with yellow flowers. We honored ourselves and presented each Ch8ser with beautiful mirrors, and insightful reflections, led by our Poetic Paula. At the conclusion of the Ch8se, we provided lunch for the Ch8sers as we celebrated our Queen Lynn's entrance to Route 66, and our Layered Lauren's bEarthday, which was actually on Ch8se day, 5.4.24. We acknowledge May bEarthDays, and Taurus season with twenty-seven total Ch8sers, four of which were first-time Ch8sers.

As we traversed the trails, we all Embr8ced The Ch8se and hopefully, as I did, each lady left lifted, lighter, and perhaps even received a bit of healing from Mother Nature. The Ch8se was enlightening, uplifting, challenging and rewarding, without heavy rain, or thunderstorms. We received an occasional light sprinkling from the trees, and nothing more. It was a Lovely Day.

Had we cancelled and retreated, we would have missed out on the Lovely Day that awaited us. You see, it is not how it starts, it is that you finish! Twenty-seven, amazing, Black women, started together and finished together! There is nothing, and I repeat nothing, that together, we cannot do, and there is nothing that we will start and not finish. We're simply not built that way. So what, we almost quit. We didn't, and that is what matters most!!

Written by Deborah McGlawn - Founder/Executive Director of Ch8sing Waterfalls.

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Praise God y’all persevered & sorry I missed another one but these photos made me feel like I was there! Thanks for sharing! I love y’all pretty brown faces & happy Mother’s Day to all mommies & happy bearthday to May babies‼️🥰🤎🎊💛


It was a lovely day to Ch8se and practice the 4P plan ! Mother Nature sometimes shows her wrath but our Heavenly Father has the final word ! His will provides for our way ! 🥰🫶🏾💙🤎💚#Embr8ceTheCh8se

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