Canyon of Compromise: A Parable

Canyon of Compromise

Two backpackers met for coffee to discuss their next backcountry excursion. One backpacker was a father. A blue backpack rested by his dusty hiking boots. The other backpacker was a daughter. Her red backpack was bulging with gear.

Father laid his map on the table between their mugs and directed their route to the top of the mountain. Daughter rolled her eyes and pointed to an alternate route.

Father said, “No. This one.”

Daughter exclaimed, “No! This way!” Continue reading

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Life: Who’s Got the Map?

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We had been paddling all day. I sat in the front of the canoe, slick with sweat from exerting myself beneath the Florida sun. I was hot and tired, and where is a lady to use the bathroom while paddling in a canoe for hours around the thousand island region of Everglades National Park? I could hear my friend’s paddle splash behind me. She possessed the map and compass, humming as we navigated through the salty water. Continue reading

Searching for Meaning this New Year

Searching for Meaning

Each year, as the clock approaches midnight on December 31st, I delve through a quick mental scan of the past year.

It’s what we all do, right?

Even those of us who don’t make resolutions. Even those of us who do, but drop them a week or a month later.

We still reflect. New Years is a forced opportunity for each one of us to look in the mirror and say, “What am I doing here?” Continue reading

The Going Green Mental Health Trend

Going Green

Last week, our world leaders met in Paris, France in order to attend the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference to discuss our world, our environment, and our goals for the future.

Our World.

Our Environment.

Our Goals. Continue reading

A Lesson in Gratitude

Gratitude

 

“It’s Thanksgiving morning, we’re stuck in the woods, and you’re making us hike!?”

“It will be worth it! I promise.” I replied, hoisting my day-pack over my shoulders.

The group of adolescent guys converged at the trailhead to wait for the day’s venture. Their boots were worn. There was ash tarnishing the fabric of their jackets and patchy beards forming on their grim faces. Continue reading

The Key to Thanksgiving Happiness

The Giving Tree

Once there was a tree.

Well, multiple trees.

The trees around my childhood home were alive in a sense of mysticism and imagination.

They each displayed a personality and a sense of responsibility. Continue reading

When the Mountain is in Control

Mount Washington 4

The mountain is small, comparatively speaking, but it’s weather patterns rival those of the harshest in the world making it one of the United States’ most dangerous mountains.

I was aware of this and many other facts about Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  I was aware that in 1934, the weather station built atop the mountain captured the highest wind velocity ever recorded. An astounding 231 mph. I knew that there have been nearly 150 deaths recorded since 1849 and about 25 reported injuries on the mountain each year. I was aware of all of these statistics when my friend and I pulled into the Appalachian Mountain Club Lodge parking lot late that autumn.  Continue reading

Seasons of Change

Seasons of Change

My hands were red and raw.

I had chosen to discard the heavy work gloves an hour ago. The autumn day was brisk, but the sun was full and heavy on our shoulders as we worked. I looked back across the freshly raked field. Continue reading

The Lost Trail of Self-Doubt

The Lost Trail of Self-Doubt

You are hiking. With each step, your boots crunch over a layer of freshly fallen leaves strewn about the forest. The leaves are orange, yellow, and red, and they shine in the sunlight all around you. The autumn air is brisk and clean. Continue reading

Are You Listening?

Young Man2

There is one solitary canoe upon the lake’s open waters. There is one solitary young man within that canoe upon the lake’s open waters. He paddles alone steadily cutting through the water.

Why is he alone?  Continue reading