...the Stanton adventures...

...the Stanton adventures...

Reflections and Pathways

Reflections and pathways in LIFE of course…I had a lot of time to think this weekend…mostly because of the upcoming Holiday, and the fact that I have a lot to be thankful for.  Saturday, Greg and I went hiking in the morning (our tradition now), and since I always take pictures of our hikes, I figured I would give myself the challenge of taking pictures of something specific.  One of my photo-geek friends (Erik – thanks!!) gave me the suggestion of challenging myself with something specific a while back, and I figured this weekend I would put it to good use.  I mean – how many pictures of trees do my friends REALLY want to see?  So…this Saturday, my photographic self-challenge was taking pictures of pathways.  The challenge “topic” was triggered by the entrance to the state park we went to…something I have thought was insanely beautiful ever since Greg brought me here (almost 2 years ago).  10 “points” if you can guess where we were:

IF you guessed correctly, we were on the property of Ringwood State Park (in the Skylands Manor Area).  Once we get parked, and start hiking around Shepard Lake, we came across some other pathways…this one actually gave me the idea of this post.
The two pathways above appear to be “easy” hiking trails…great for someone looking for something easy.  It got me thinking about life, and how each of us is given pathways in life to go down.  For me, in college, I took the “easy” way…but it got me nowhere.  It actually got me further down the oh-crap-how-do-I-turn-back? path.  When I came home, I had no choice but to take the “harder” path, and now here I am – a little bruised and bumped, but MUCH better off.
Then there’s these paths…the ones that SCARE THE EVER LOVING CRAP out of you when you see them…and think “how the hell am I going to tackle this???”.  It’s super steep, there’s “road”blocks everywhere, and you don’t know what lies beneath that blanket of freshly fallen leaves.  You think, “yeah, I’m just going to go back where I came…”.  But for me, in life, I can’t.  I HAVE to go up this path.  Mark has cancer.  Yeah, I know, I said that evil little diseases’ name again, but his fight is mine too.  Anything he fights for, I will fight with him, and just as hard.  I will not give up on this, or him.  And I will help him through it…every step of the way.  Mark taught me valuable lessons, and amazing things in life.  He kicked me in the butt (literally) when I needed it (remember that Mom and Mark??).  I am going to be there for him, even when the pathways get tough.  Because that’s what amazing Step-Daughters do.  I helped clean the yard and bring in the firewood on Sunday, because I knew that it would mean a lot to him (and to Mom).
 Some pathways get dirty…and they leave you covered in crap.  Sometimes you think (halfway through)…”why didn’t I look at the bigger picture and find a better path?”  Well, this time you couldn’t, and you ended up here.  Just by default.  Now…you have to trek your way through it, and just push on through.  That’s exactly what our family will do.  Push on through.  Because we’re stubborn Norwegians and Women.  And that’s what we do.  PUSH.  ON.  THROUGH.
Because after pushing through…you have taken that nasty, steep, “road”blocked, crappy, non-traveled pathway…and you make your OWN pathway…something that might be a little easier for someone else to navigate later.  You’re no longer looking at something that might seem unbearable.  Hopefully, for the next traveler of this crappy path, you have BLAZED A TRAIL that’s a little easier to navigate.
After you’re blazed that trail, and come out on the other end…you find yourself, and view yourself, in a new light.  You’ve realized you beat the CRAP out of that icky pathway, and PUSHING ON THROUGH was certainly worth it.  Now, you can just take a step back, and view nature in all it’s beauty and splendor….
So enjoy it…enjoy the ride, and PUSH ON THROUGH.  You’ll make it out, maybe a little bruised, and a little battered, but you’re fine.  And you can enjoy the blissful view afterwards.  If you ever see something beautiful.  Stop and drink it all in…take a picture if you want to cherish the moment.  STOP AND TAKE IT ALL IN.  If you move to fast (which we all do), you might miss it.  I know this is corny, but FERRIS IS RIGHT.
Life moves pretty fast.
If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

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