Today I’m thankful for finding what I really should have been looking for all along.
It’s no secret that going to the top of Longs Peak was a goal of mine. When my friend Steve threw it out there as an idea for a pretty awesome trip I immediately latched on to it. It’d be an excellent way to spend time with my friends doing things that I really enjoy doing. It’d be an accomplishment, a feather to put in my cap, something I could take great pride in. That’s essentially what it started to transform into for me, something to be proud of. It was a way for me to prove that while I may be getting older I’m still capable of great things.
Today was the big day, the day we would reach the top. Excitement was high this morning as we started our trek. Unfortunately, things didn’t go to script like they were supposed to. We had an excellent hike, but we did not reach the summit. As this realization sunk in I struggled with it greatly. I’d failed. I missed my goal.
Looking up at the face of Longs and the summit I wouldn’t reach, I felt a pull towards a bowl shaped area in front of the massive rock wall with snow at its base. I split off from my friends, letting them know where I was going while I inspected this other area.
Walking off the beaten path I separated myself from the hundreds of climbers swarming the trail. I got to a point where I was in a bowl made of huge boulders that cut away the sound of the other hikers and left me to the sound of nature. I found a huge flat rock that was tilted just right towards the cliff face and plopped myself down. Using my rain jacket as a pillow I laid down on the rock and just stared at the side of the mountain.
The world around me totally melted away. I was lost in the awesome mass of the mountain, thinking how crazy that it was that I could have thoughts about how small and insignificant I felt next to it, yet knowing how incredibly significant each of us humans are. The concept of time that washed across me was surreal. I started thinking about how old this mountain was, how much it had seen, and how much more it will see long after I’m long gone. As the clouds thickened and disappeared and the sun shine brighter I kept noticing new beautiful features all over the wall. Every minute exposed a new view or detail. I meditated for a while. I took a little nap. As I laid in the sun I thought about how great it felt to be alive. I was present in the moment. I felt closer to God, and was so appreciative for His creations.
As I laid on the rock I realized that this was why I was here. The summit of the mountain wasn’t really what I was searching for, it was the piece of mind and time alone with nature, my thoughts, and God. Recharge my batteries, remember who I am, and be present. Bonding time with my friends. Time away from Becky and the boys to help me remember why I appreciate them. Time to be me.
It’s funny how life works sometimes. I was going after something for the sake of the goal and I lost track of the why I set the goal in the first place. While I may not have hit it I’m very thankful that I found what I should have been looking for all along.