Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Making Time For the Good Stuff

Sometimes I am amazed at the beauty that is practically in our back yard.
A quick drive up into the foothills and the places to explore are countless
Growing up I didn't ever think of myself as the hiking type. My mom had that one covered. I just didn't see the draw in walking around on paths in the mountains.  
I liked cute clothes, sunny beaches, time on the boat or with my friends much more.  When my mom left for three weeks to hike the John Muir trail I decided to finally strap on a back pack and join her for 5 days as part of a resupply team for their food. I decided I'd open myself up to what she loved so much and decide if there really was anything for me to love about it.

My eyes were opened on that trip. I saw things, lakes, flowers and trees that you can only see if you hike (or take a helicopter ride I suppose) to see them. The beauty of it touched me in a way that I had never expected. It caught me off guard and struck me to my core.  So much so that I found myself crying when I was next at the temple and pondering the creation.
Don't get me wrong, I still would choose a beautiful beach resort over a backpacking trip.  I still maintain that if we were cereals my mom would be granola, all good and hearty, and I would be Captain Crunch, the sweet fluffy stuff.
But given the opportunity to spend a day talking with friends, exercising my legs, and exploring  beautiful places  I will jump at it every time.
  My friend Charisse says a real adventure always includes a little danger, so we like to talk up our close encounters with the swarm of bees around the hive dangling from an tree branch, or the snake in the middle of the path.  There are always little unexpected moments, like coming face to face with a bull on the path and trying to decide how to proceed.  

There is always laughter. Lots of it. Like when we got a little excited to see a wild turkey near the trail only to realized it was actually a decoy and there was some random dude all decked out in his camo completely blending in with the trees who waved at us as we debated whether or not the turkey was real.  Or when after discussing an old dentist of mine and funny stories related to the dentist, a guy who lives a few doors down from Shelley happens to wander on down our hiking trail as we were eating lunch. When she mentions that he was a dentist, we totally got the giggles.  
A favorite speaker of mine Brad Wilcox said, "There is a powerful bond felt by those who do difficult and important things together"  I think this is also true of people who go on adventures together. I wouldn't want to spend a day hiking with just anyone.  I cherish the friendships of the women I take adventures with.  There is a closeness that grows from these shared experiences.  
 I love that feeling of having used my muscles and accomplishing a goal.  It makes me grateful for a healthy body.  I love taking time to notice the beauty that is around me.  It makes me grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to give us such beautiful creations for our enjoyment.  I love time with my friends. They are some of my dearest treasures.  Give me all three of these in one beautiful afternoon and I will always say yes please!

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