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Only half the day worked out as planned. The best half featured the interruptions.
As my soggy feet trod through the snow and my boys and I lost our hiking path, I thought of this quote,
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.” – C.S. Lewis
The friend who shared this quote is the mother of six. She’s an expert in interruption-management. Or is it interruption-appreciation?!
Back to our hike. “Surely if we climb, we’ll get a better view,” I conjured. So we clamored up the hills (it was more like rock-climbing). It was fun. The wind blew softly. The sun shone brightly. We had the mountains to ourselves. Or so we thought. That’s when we spotted the mountain goats. Higher we climbed to see them better.
Wow. Six of them. Frolicking along. We paused. We marveled.
Still no sight of the path.
The boys led the way. What a surprising delight to follow. For years our family has been a circle of Chiefs without Indians; each person claiming for leadership. I think I set the example. Today, I determined to follow.
“I’m on my way down,” announced our youngest who had chased the mountain goats the longest. “Don’t worry about me…well, worry just a little bit.” I breathed a prayer for all of our safety. Indeed, I had made it down by sliding on my rear in Lycra running tights. Dress for success. Thank you, wild blueberry bushes, for having measured me pace.
We found a semblance of a pass and crossed over to the other side of the mountain. “Let’s continue 10 minutes to see if we find a path. If not, since we’ve been wandering around these rocks for more than an hour and I think we’re lost, we should turn back,” suggested our youngest.
Eventually, one son found a path. How, I wonder? My feet could not stand side by side within it. Where the snow did not cover it, the tall grasses did. Tiny as it was, we followed it and eventually found one painted rock certifying the discovery of a bona fide route.
It led us down a cliff.
I was again on my rear, but this time on slate rock.
We each managed fear in our ways. My method is through prayer.
“’The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.’ Habakkuk 3:19
Thank you, Lord, for not having given me feet like a cow…or like a duck!!!! And today I even thank you for my big butt!”
Even as we descended in concentrated silence, I kept reveling in the joy of the day’s interruptions. Our “planned” walk led us through wondrous scenery and a few adventurous segments. Lovely. But this trek none of us will quickly forget. We were creating memories.
Our interspersed comments evolved from, “Use this ledge,” to “This spot is not as bad.” And finally to, “Part II in front looks like it’s easier….I think.” The worst of the façade behind us, I looked back to try and locate the path and could not distinguish it. Too small. And too infrequently traveled. Not surprisingly!
Joyful conversation flowed spontaneously as we strode on “Part II,” a.k.a. post-façade descent. One of them broke out in song, “C’mon baby, rock my boodee…” until they settled in to defining the qualities of excellent confidence boosters.
“The best confidence booster is just being present. Staying by someone’s side.”
“I hate those confidence non-boosters when someone speaks too much, especially in the crucial moments. I don’t want to hear, ‘You’re such a champ…’ when my 6 foot body is crawling on a ledge on all fours…Afterwards, I might feel like one (grin), but at that moment, I just feel awkward.”
“This is so eeaazzzy,” they chanted as we continued down the steep slope. Once you’ve descended a façade, the rest is a piece of cake. I ventured,
“Guys, maybe a great confidence booster is doing something TOUGH, slip sliding through it even, but getting through. There is something to overcoming a challenge. It gives you a head start for the next one.”
Exhausted, back at the car, finally filled with food, I announced. “I’m proud of myself. YOU should be proud of yourselves.”
And as if it were a revelation, “I guess I am.”