Ripples, version 1.26 [7/12/99] ©1999 Stone Soup Seminars
When we tug at a single thing in nature,
we find it attached to the rest of the world.
Original Source: John Muir (slightly adapted by ptw), submitted by Bev
Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Colorado
These are a few thoughts I had after spending another week on my retreat
into the Rockies:
THINGS CHANGE. One minute I was basking in the sunshine with a bright blue
sky and it was 90 degrees; 30 minutes later a dark mass of clouds moved
quietly in and soon it was hailing pea-sized ice chunks and the temperature
dropped to 50 degrees. This helped me to enjoy every minute of sunshine
because I never knew how long it would last. I also didn’t get so bummed
out about the yucky weather because it would only be around for a little
THERE ARE UPS AND DOWNS. Of course when you go into the mountains there
are ups, and the other side is just as steep going down. What I always
forget is that even on the way up there are times when you can coast, and
sometimes the way down is more uphill than expected. In the long run, you
can can’t on some ups, some downs, and a few stretches of flat.
GO WITH THE FLOW. During a two-hour float on an innertube down the Yampa
River in Steamboat Springs, this control freak spent much of his time
trying to be in just the right place. After tiring out, I began to let the
river decide where I should be. Imagine my surprise: it was much more fun
and much less exhausting!
TRUST IS IMPORTANT. My new friends Kenny & Billy took me on a hike to see
an amazing waterfall. We wanted to get up close and that meant a bit of
rock climbing. More than once I found myself stuck and Kenny would say
something like “put your left foot in that crevice and your right hand up
on that root and you’ll be fine.” Each time it didn’t look possible but
when I did what he said, it worked!
YOU CAN’T SWITCH FEAR OFF. Before I headed into the mountains, my good
friend Robin and I had a long talk about how fear often seems to rule our
thinking. We acknwoledged that fear is not the most productive thing
because most of the time our fears are never realized. Even when they do
come true, the events are rarely as catastrophic as we imagined them to be.
The rest of the trip found me discovering how often fear creeps up on me.
I tried so hard to just TURN IT OFF and that proved fruitless. Then, I
tried a DIMMER SWITCH. Instead of turning it off completely, I just turned
down the volume and moved it into the background. Frequently that was
enough to calm me down and something usually then distracted me so I wasn’t
focusing on the fear.
CHALLENGE MAKES THE GAME MORE FUN. This was my first summer trip into the
Rockies in my SUV and I was ready to get off the beaten path. With the
goal to visit some of the same destinations that I have enjoyed during
previous trips, this time around I traveled different routes that included
dirt roads and rocky trails filled with steep climbs, major ruts, and
narrow passes. These adventures uncovered new heights of fear in me
(sometimes the dimmer switch doesn’t work!). And every terrifying minute
was unbelievably satisfying. I admit that on some of these excursions I
did not even appreciate the panaromic views or dense pine and aspen
forests. My heart was often racing too fast and I was busy praying to help
me understand why I had decided to get off the main road. The answer was
obvious: the easy route just isn’t as satisfying. This revelation, by the
way, explains some of those darn bumpy spots I’ve had in my life!
Sometimes the easy route looks better when we are in the middle of a
crisis, but after things have settled down we often realize that these
challenges develop a more satisfying and productive life.
I hope you are creating some adventures in your life!