A Story Teller
Be of Good Cheer
Believing is Seeing
Benefits of Play
Different, Yet Similar
Division More Fun Than Hiking
Forty and Pregnant
Happy Mother's Day
Happy Valentine's Day
It's a Miracle
"Just" a Housewife
Little Gem in the Woods
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
RMKK Year in Review
She's Having a Baby
The Game of Life
The Otters Return to Glacier
The Wonder of it All
These Boots Are Made for Walking
Time is on My Side
You Get What You Expect
100 Years of Grandeur
Division More Fun Than Hiking
One morning, around the breakfast
table, I was reminded of a comment my daughter M made about her
preference to do a page of long division than to take a hike. This
is a pretty strong statement, considering the mention of division
may turn her from Miss Jekyell to Miss Hyde.
For a moment, I thought about the two, long division and hiking.
Both create a certain amount of anxiety. Both require a certain
amount of discipline. Both give a sense of accomplishment upon
completion. Long division develops skills that lead to a productive
life and hiking develops character.
Before my family and I decide on a hike there are certain
questions to be answered. When, where, and how long (is the trail)
are common queries. A certain amount of anxiety creeps in as we
prepare our backpacks. We know that when the trail guide describes a
hike as moderate, we may find it strenuous. The trail may seem
endless, our packs will weigh a ton, and our legs or feet may hurt
on the way back.
Like any worthwhile endeavor, whether it’s maintaining a schedule,
learning a new skill, or exercising regularly, it requires
discipline. Just as in the adage, no pain, no gain, we know our
limitations, yet desire to achieve more. Through encouragement,
right attitudes, and concentration, we help each other focus on the
goal. The goal is to see what’s out there. After all, someone
thought it worthy enough to clear a trail.
When it’s all over; we’re exhausted and realize our accomplishment.
It’s the thrill of victory, the feeling of success. We know we’ve
gotten stronger and it’s rewarding to share the experience with
others who have been there too.
So why do we drag M and E on these terrible hikes that
cause such trepidation, yet bring such satisfaction? Just as in
requiring long division to enable the student to reach the next step
in the ladder of mathematics, hiking builds strength of character.
By challenging their reluctance, they discover the courage to
endure, the confidence to excel, and learn respect for nature.
Through perseverance, it’s determined they can do anything they set
their minds to.
When I think of hiking, I think of our National Parks. One day, I
hope M & E will go hiking because the spirit moves them, not because
their parents make them. To summarize the emotion I feel when hiking
in our country’s treasures, I will paraphrase Ken Burns, in his
reference to our National Parks, “…we feel insignificant. And yet
paradoxically we are made to feel larger.”