On Earth Day I took my 3 children and the dog for a hike directly behind my house on the mountain. Out of this post came my story on the gratitude I have for the journey I have been on. Here is an excerpt:
My life happens in the raw dirt, the weeds, the flowers, and the brilliant moment when I make a conscious choice to be grateful for what I have. Read the rest of this story on my weekly Mamalode.com column: Den Chronicles here.
I have always loved to hike. I have fond memories of hiking with my family. There are pictures of me, the youngest of seven children, in the old backpack on my dad’s back. Exploring nature is humbling, and a good lesson. Here are a few thoughts I have about hiking:
1. Nature puts you in your place. When you reach a summit it is hard to believe that there isn’t a problem you can’t conquer.
2. Climbing mountains is a difficult task. And usually in Montana when you get to a summit you recognize that there are new summits to climb…..just like setting goals in life.
3. You may stumble and fall. You have to pay attention to the here and now at every moment because THAT is what keeps you safe and happy on your journey.
4. You must stop and take rest breaks. If you keep going you may miss some beautiful scenery, or burn out, or not want to finish the hike.
5. Hiking with kids teaches them goal setting, perseverance, and the enjoyment of the journey.
6. You must bring fuel. You need water and snacks to hydrate you and keep your body strong and fed. Life presents the same dilemma. If you are not getting the support (fuel) you need, you will crash and burn.
7. Hiking is enjoyable with other people and is also enjoyable as a solo activity. It is important to enjoy both forms of hiking to feed your soul.
8. It is easiest to stay on the trails, but every so often it is fun, brave, and necessary to create your own path and let others lead in your footsteps.
9. Prepare for all sorts of weather. Life is a thunderstorm, a snowstorm, a ray of sunshine, a burst of wind. Nature doesn’t give you it’s itinerary, no matter what the weatherman is saying.
10. The mountaintop is full of wonder. It is a place that humbles you, makes you realize that life is bigger than one person, that the dance of joy is felt in the interrelationship between all creatures.
Teaching my kids not to fear blazing their own trails!
look closely...you will see elk. We scared over 100 head out of the trees!