Fibers of challenge.

“We’ll eat when we’re hungry, sleep when we’re tired.”
– Bengt, team leader of The Western Family

I think a lot of the time, we all (and by we, of course I’m talking about me) forget about what we think is important, why we do what we do. On the Caldwell Wilderness Trip, summer 2008 in Zion National Park, I became centered. I realized that all I really needed to life was a lot of food (high energy), even more water (with or without iodine for flavor), people to share the experience with, and time to appreciate the grandeur of everything. Time is just a way to parcel experience. “Time separates stuff during a day.” Ultimately, time doesn’t really mean much, it’s what you and experience during that space that matters. Don’t get caught up in the “should”s we associate with time.

The importance of the details is only found when it’s taken as part of a big picture. A rock, a tree, a stream, none of them are spectacular in and of themselves. But a rock to scramble over to reach the summit? A tree blackened by a forest fire with new growth? A stream of water after hiking through a sandy desert? They are more.

Other lessons learned? No pain, no gain. Challenge hurts, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Challenge feeds the soul, though, turns the focus outside of yourself and, in turn, you are most fully “you,” giving you time to remember and identify what is important.

But still, we’re left with the question of why we face challenges at all. Why not take the easy way out? Walk around the mountain instead of over it?

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen.”
– Rene Daumal

So take yourself outside of time. Turn the focus outward. Remember what is important.

And see.


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