Monday, May 19, 2008

Enjoy the Journey

Last week, as my husband and I explored Zion National Park, I "people watched." It must be a writer thing. ;) Or I'm snoopy. I prefer to think that it's a writer thing. =D Anyway
. . . I observed the people and places around me as I snapped numerous pictures. I was intrigued by the way a set of caring grandparents supervised\entertained three young granddaughters. I was touched by the talent of the artist from Japan as he busily sketched and painted the beauty that abounds in that national park. I laughed quietly when a woman screamed after I warned her to not step on the cute little snake before I took its picture. ;) I watched, amazed, as adventurous types used ropes to scale the vertical walls of Zion Canyon.

On the other end of the spectrum, I sadly tried not to listen as a husband angrily berated his poor wife in a public fashion as we rode the shuttle bus to the next stop. I turned away when I overheard horrid language streaming from the mouths of three young men. I silently cried when I watched an overweight child being shunned by his peers as the field trip for jr. high age kids took place in our midst that day.

In my last blog, I shared the experience my husband and I endured as we took the wrong trail. We had both decided to take the easier path to see the Lower Emerald Pool. Since the weather was warmer than what I'm used to, I had been fighting my blood sugar level, trying to keep it from dropping too low. Figuring I could handle a short hike, we bravely headed forward. Instead of a simple path, we marched up a hillside that kicked our trash before we realized we had gone the wrong way. Turning around, we carefully descended the steep path. Then we took the road much traveled (as opposed to that other road Robert Frost described) and joined the hordes of young families and older types who had opted for the easier path.

It still seemed to take quite a while to reach the promised waterfalls and pool of water. I didn't mind, I was busy taking lots of pictures. Along the way, I snapped the afore-mentioned snake, a lizard, and a wild turkey. I also took a picture of the beautiful path we were walking along. Then finally, there it was, our destination. And it was beautiful. I snapped picture after picture (as my husband can attest) of the tiny waterfalls, the water as it hit the rocks below, the water as it fell from above, and the famed Emerald Pool. After our lengthy hiking adventure, the coolness of the area was a welcome relief. I could have remained in there for a long, long time. However, I was saddened by comments I overheard as I relaxed, enjoying this natural treasure.

"This is it?"
"We hiked all this way for this?"
"What a joke!"
"You have got to be kidding me?!"
"Let's go, I've seen all I want to see."

Were we looking at the same things? Couldn't they see the way the orange cliffs contrasted with the brilliant green foliage? Or the way the water plummeted from above to splash down where we were? Everywhere I looked, I was overwhelmed by beauty. But everywhere I turned I overheard negative remarks.

I was told once years ago in high school that I was the silly type of person who sees the glass half full. The person who shared this wisdom intended it to be an insult. I beg to differ---it's a compliment. I think life is a lot more enjoyable when we see the glass half full. Where is the fun of always seeing it half empty?

A few years ago I wrote a song about this subject. The YW I worked with at the time had the grand pleasure of singing it for a couple of programs. The lyrics are as follows:

Enjoy The Journey

Enjoy the journey---enjoy life’s ride
Your attitude determines who you are inside
Happiness can often prove to be the key
That shapes your eternal destiny.

Are you searching for a path
Free of thorns that hold you fast
Are you running from a test
That might lead to happiness?

Are you weary of life’s load
Smiling makes an easier road
Enjoy life as it unfolds
And . . . (repeat all).

End: Happiness can often prove to be the key
That shapes your eternal destiny.

Cheri J. Crane 1995

That is the challenge I offer today. Enjoy life's journey. Look for the good, for the positive, in this time of negativity. Dare to see the glass half-full, be courageous enough to treat everyone around you as you would like to be treated. Dare to take the road less traveled.

Return to The Neighborhood

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