Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Accidental Discoveries

A Few things I learned while hiking today:

1. My father still uses everything as a teaching device, even a fall.
Especially a fall.

2. My children never sit still. Apparently this is not unusual

3. If one sits still in nature, one gets left behind. Sitting still isn't always a good thing

4. Canyon walls were meant to be climbed.

5. Point 4 was meant to be both literal and figurative. No one ever got very far in life by leaving their feet on the ground. You're welcome. 

6. My mother is still the adventurous one. I still have trouble keeping up with her after all these years.

7. I remain steady in potential crisis situations. I'm not bragging especially, as I believe this is a learned trait. Pops was always the calm eye of the storm when we were growing up. And, somewhere along the middle point of trail #3 this afternoon, we found ourselves dually transporting The Monkey across a fairly sheer rock wall with a few inches of depth for foot holds and very few handholds. We were light years behind the rest of our party, and took turns letting The Monkey hold one of our hands while encouraging her, slowly; keeping eye contact over her head and trying not to smile at the absurdity of the entire situation - crab-walking our way across a canyon; a fair fall from the creekbed below.

Sometimes, life can be like that, though. Sometimes you make the best of a muddy situation and work to remind yourself and those closest to you that there's no rush. No hurry. No need to try and keep up with the other half. Even when your heart beats steadily to the tune of 'hurry...hurry...faster...faster...' you've got to remember that life won't go on without you, even if it seems that way. Life remains, steadfastly, where you've left it when your sanity takes a little vacation. Much like ours did when convincing ourselves that taking a five-year-old across a rock wall with little-to-no-purchase was a totally valid way to spend a Tuesday afternoon... 

8. Some of my best days have occurred out of doors.  While I still maintain that I'm a bit of a homebody, there is nothing like setting off for the day with the sun warm on your head and the crunch of dried leaves underfoot to make you feel alive.

9. These are the days I want my kids to remember.
I still remember entire weekends spent camping and hiking across state parks from my own childhood. They're some of my fondest memories...and I'm going to go ahead and allow for the fact that I've completely blocked any arguing from my memory...ditto crying and/or whining that occurred in the car before and after the hiking trips...ditto any falls or spills that at the time were surely tragic in the extreme. This gives me hope. This tells me that, surely, The Munchkins will gloss over the rough edges of some of our more adventurous weekends and look back fondly on these excursions; blocking from their memory the whining and crying and arguing over the last chocolate chip cookie on the car ride home.

10. As much joy as there is in the hike, there's something to be said for crossing the suspension bridge back toward the head of the trail. Knowing there's a finish line out there waiting for you makes a trail manageable in some respects.

And if we can finish a trail...finish one hike...manage one day...why not two?
We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.
Sometimes it just takes falling in a little mud to remind us of that...
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