Etienne de Gellett once wrote, “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, I can do or show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” I’ve been thinking about those words a lot lately and how true they are.
Recently, I traveled to a beautiful spot I had often visited in my youth, but for all the right reasons, I had not been able to return there until just a few days ago. The snowclad mountains surrounded by ancient glaciers were still there. The old-growth forest had not yet succumbed to wildfire. The access road had improved as well as several new structures at the trailhead. Other than that, it was the same.
I met a few other hikers on my upward climb that took me longer than when I hiked it last. When I arrived at the alpine meadow, covered in cream and pink blooming heather, a few clouds scurried across the towering peaks. A light breeze cooled my face; a sweat and bug spray mix dripped off my chin. I sat cross-legged on the ground and munched on a peanut butter and jam sandwich, contemplating how much I’d lived through in the many years since my last visit.
On the way back to the car, those words from de Gellett kept popping in my head. Although tired, I made an effort to acknowledge the few hikers I met climbing up to my special place. I listened to my son tell his stories. I let the peace of a place seemingly untouched by the chaos of our modern world tiptoe into my heart, knowing full well I might never see that place again and made a promise to worry less, smile more, love life, embrace change, and to the best of my ability, show kindness whenever I can.
How did you find solace this week?
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