As I write this blog post on my iPhone, I’m gazing out the window of my Delta aircraft at a spectacular vista of Montana mountains.
It’s been a huge blessing to have opportunities the past 11 days to share ideas with educators at two conferences hosted at the University of Montana in Missoula. In between, it was amazing to make memories with my dad exploring a little of the wonder which is Glacier National Park.
This morning before my flight left for Salt Lake and then on to Oklahoma City, I went on a hike to “The M.” It’s a big concrete “M” partway up the mountain which lies right beside the campus of the University of Montana.
The start of the trail was just a five minute walk from my hotel on the north side of the Clark Fork River. I learned there are now eight bridges in Missoula spanning the Clark Fork, and those not used for cars have been converted for use by pedestrians and bikers. The trail on campus which parallels the river used to be an old railroad line into town. The rails and ties are long gone, but some of the light signals remain. There aren’t red lights on this path anymore. Everyone sets their own pace.
When you’re traveling down the road of life, it’s usually a good idea to go together. It’s also often good to bring a hat. If the hat is colorful and looks good, so much the better.
Sometimes on the road of life a leash is required.
Boundaries and fences are important. Sometimes we have to bring our own or make our own. When we forget to bring a leash, however, it’s refreshing to find one to borrow.
When you’re up on the mountain in the morning, your shadow can be really big.
Sometimes we live life unaware and unconcerned about our shadow. Shadows matter, however. In virtual spaces, our shadows can leave footprints. Our shadows can touch other people. Like the sun on the mountain, technology can amplify our shadows far beyond their “normal” sizes. It’s good to look down, now and then, and check our shadows. Other people can see our shadows too.
When we are hiking along the road of life, it’s important to look up and enjoy the scenery. The joy of living is experienced principally on the journey. We only get to stay at the top of the mountain a little while.
When you’re hiking up or down a particularly steep bit of life, it’s tempting to keep looking down at the trail.
You need to pick your way carefully at times, but always remember to keep looking up. You can’t see your goal very well if your chin’s on your chest. The scenery on the way up can be spectacular, and you don’t want to miss it.
Sometimes on the road of life, we feel like we’ve been left behind. Remember to prepare well for your journey, and always check to be sure no one (or no “thing”) gets left behind. It can be lonely by yourself on the mountain.
Remember the road up the mountain is always a crooked path. It might seem better to go straight up, but there are many important people to meet and lessons to learn on the way.
Savor the moments you have at the top of the mountain.
You’ve worked hard to get here, but remember the road goes ever on and on. (To quote Bilbo.)
Life is a journey, and no kindness is too small it becomes unimportant. Seize the day. Count your blessings.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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