Monday, May 12, 2014

"Can't make me."

** Update **  My guest post at Going Into The Story (GITS) ran yesterday.  Read about why Golden Eye is a classic 90s movie here.

What a beautiful morning.  60s on the way to 90.  Bright sun.  A new type of pollen.  It’s the kind of day that was designed especially for being stuck in traffic.  I don’t know what’s happened in the last couple of months but wow.  The last two weeks have been especially horrible.  I don’t mean to complain about traffic all of the time.  It just sort of comes out.  And it’s okay.  I have a backup plan.  I feel sorry for the folks who will be surprised this morning when they leave their houses and don’t make the last train.

We went for a hike yesterday.  A trek, actually.  Somewhere between 5.5 and 7 miles.  Or, as my wife said, “Between 5 and thousand.”  The weather was perfect and the trails were very well maintained.  We traipsed down a hill and followed a creek for a few miles, stopping often to throw rocks, climb rocks, study rocks, marvel at rocks, and drink water.  In fact, we drank so much water that some of us ran out before the 25% mark.

Our path was a loop.  No out and backs.  That would be boring.  The trails were well maintained, as I said, but not marked as clearly as roads and the map we had was sort of… old.  There were many pauses to consider the map v intersections.  We even spoke with other people on the trail about where we were headed.  It all prompted my wife to say, “You know, I’ve heard about people wandering around back here lost for hours.”

Ha.  It’s woods along a stream and on a trail.  We’re not lost.  I may live in the suburbs now, but I know how to do woods.  And they were spectacular woods.  We didn’t see any animals but I wasn’t really expecting to.  I had three boys and a girl who likes to scream at things with me.

Speaking of that girl, she made a few comments about how far it was, how long it was taking, and when will it end.  (Her comments were justified.)  Her brothers also had a lot to say but mostly out of curiosity.  My standard response was, “The only way out is through.”  My daughter remarked, “Why do you keep saying that?”

Why, indeed.  Because we started something hard.  We were far from home and car.  We were being challenged.  If we quit we were trapped.  Lost.

Someone would have found us eventually, maybe brought in a helicopter to haul us back to cable TV and 24 grocery stores.  We’d have been on the news – “Family gave up during Mother’s Day hike.  Rangers, other park guests laugh.  County to foot bill for rescue.”

Or we could focus and stop wasting our energy on complaining about being thirsty or tired and just walk.  Through.  That’s something even Barry Manilow understood.

So you’re probably waiting to hear about how we turned out to actually be lost – after all, I did sort of brag about knowing my way about the woods.  Sorry to disappoint.  No lost souls here.  And even better, my children found the way the way out.  By going through.

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