Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hike: Journey or Destination?

If I had to analyze whether I was a "journey" or "destination" type of person, I'd have to assign myself squarely to the "destination" camp. I like jobs that have big results, like dusting really dusty furniture, and I like to get them done quickly so that I can admire the results.

I take after my dad as a traveler: someone who stops only to eat/pee/get gas, and only if all three can be accomplished with one stop. Granted, many of the road trips of my life have been on roads that I have driven again and again and AGAIN, thereby eliminating the need for exploration. But still. Let's just GET THERE already.

My husband is more meticulous, enjoying the process and not as focused on the results. This makes us a good pair, for I am good at getting things done (like rolling paint on a wall), and he is good at attending to the details (like painting the trim).

My children, however, have taught me the beautiful art of slowing down and being present in the now, without focusing so much on the end. I think most children are zen masters, and I feel so appreciative of what I can learn from them.

Like the hike we went on, to a place where we annually hike, called (by locals) "Boulder Vista". It's off the beaten path by miles, and I don't just mean the literal distance. It's a place to hike that has a clear, yet unmarked, trail. A hike that doesn't appear on any of the tourist maps.

We love this hike for that reason. We love that we can hike a relatively short distance (kid-friendly) and get to an awesome vantage point with magnificent views. _I_ also love it because, as I take the girls there year after year, I am beginning to love the journey of the hike...

They are excited to get out of the car and apply sunscreen, divide up water bottles, strap on backpacks, and double check the snack stash; they do not view this as a chore but as part of the adventure.






They enjoy the steep trail, and the familiar rocks "where we always stop for a water break".


There are lots of water breaks, each one part of the adventure and excitement.


They enjoy stopping at various points to enjoy the view, not caring that the view is only going to get better and better. The view *now* is good, and that is all they need.


Of course they enjoy the victory of reaching the top.


And they gamely suffer through the obligatory family picture, because they love me so. (Well, and they may or may not be being threatened with bodily harm.)



The photo ops with my dad and his stupid, suicidal dog evoke true smiles though, because nearly everything my dad is involved in is truly fun. (Including trying to get this dog to sit and face the camera instead of focusing on the edge of the cliff, the very cliff he nearly jumped off of seconds before to retrieve a rock my dad threw.)


And this little one kept us all safe by her cheerful chirping from the pack on Daddy's back. "Be careful guys!" "Don't fall Daddy!" "Wait up Mommy! Don't get lost!". We let her loose for a bit once we reached the top, and she walked around with her water bottle, sighing to herself at regular intervals "What a beautiful day!".


Indeed.

2 comments:

Kelsey said...

That's awesome! I find the same thing w/ my kids often, they remind me not to hurry so to get to the end. Just enjoy the steps.

Love the pictures.

desperate housewife said...

I don't think I am firmly in one camp or another. I enjoy both the process and the result equally, and feel cheated if I don't get to. Which makes things like quick, necessary clean ups that don't touch on every little thing that COULD be done, difficult for me. Every time I clean, I want to DEEP clean and have it take hours. Every time I put away laundry, I want to organize the drawers a little. And so on. It's hard for me to just get it done already.
It's also why I rarely even bother with outdoor projects, because I can't just do something little and be pleased. I want to have a whole uninterrupted weekend and clean up and landscape the WHOLE THING and THEN step back and enjoy the result!