Enjoying the Ride
Yesterday while our family was hiking in Lynn Canyon with our three grandchildren, I received some really great lessons about life. It was obvious to Chris, my son-in-law, and I that the purpose of the trip was to get to Lynn Canyon as fast as possible in our cars and get to the end of the trail on foot as fast as possible as well. On the way back we started talking about the way that all of the children had a much different way of approaching the hike.
Maria Montessori would have been proud of Erika, my daughter, because her daughter, Isa, was interested in going off the trail when she spotted something interesting. She wasn’t interested in the speed of getting to the end of the trail; she was enjoying everything that the trail had to offer. Erika just allowed her to lead rather than rushing her to the end.
Midway through the return trek back Chris and I stopped, looked up a hill, and started talking about how Shane, my other son-in-law would approach a hill versus how we would do it. Shane would take a long time to look at the hill, see all of the interesting rocks to climb over and things to do, and then systematically go after each one enjoying fully how to make his way over each rock. Chris and I admitted that we would just take the fastest path and rush up there as fast as we could. Shane enjoys the whole experience. We just rush to the end. We tend to miss the middle. We started talking about being too goal oriented rather than more process oriented.
Chris and I thought that the end of the trail was the goal, but the children taught us that the real goal was experiencing fully all of the things along the way because that is where the real growing and learning is. No one taught them how to enjoy the trail. They just did what comes naturally to them.
So I started thinking about how the world is dealing with global warming and terrorism and poverty and inequity and it made me realize that the feeling I get from the discussions and concerns is the need to rush to the end so that the problems will be finished. I am not enjoying the ride because just like the world, I am trying to end a negative, the pain of going up the hill, rather than enjoying all of the learning and growth from facing the challenges so that new positives will emerge.
Slow down and enjoy the ride. That is my new mantra for today.