The Climb

  Observations on Life from Climbing Sand Dunes:

Some people get to the top first; others arrive last.  Some people never make it to the top at all, but play in the sand all along the way, twirling, crawling, rolling, and getting sand in and on every part of their body.  Everybody makes their own fun on their journeys if you just let them have their time and space.  And for some, it's just not fun at all; it's difficult to climb next to the no-funners.  Others are talking about the sky being cerulean blue and their body feeling so alive; it's difficult to climb next to the cerulean bluers for too long as well.  But if you zig zag between the two, it feels good, both because zig zagging while going up is easier on your legs and because you can gain perspective. 

Some people need to be carried at times.  Muscles burn, breathing is labored.  It is hard.  Sometimes adults are carrying babies up the hill while wishing for an even bigger adult to carry them.  Sometimes people who have more strength and stamina offer to carry a baby for you and you feel grateful; when others give that help graciously, it feels safe and good.

There are so many different paths, and sometimes they all look the same.  Sometimes you take a different path than others in your group.  Sometimes, while separated, you wonder if the others are having more fun.  You may not like the path on which you're hiking.  It's long, buggy and rocky and, though the views are stunning, you wonder if others' views are more stunning.  And you're sure their path is smoother.

Sometimes you follow and sometimes you lead.  Sometimes the children lead the adult.  Sometimes the children hold the adult's hand.  Sometimes your big and their little hands are together with sweat and sand, and you just keep holding on to one another because even sweaty, sandy hands feel better than letting go.  Sometimes when you get to the top and you look down, you can't believe you did that together.  You can't believe you made it.

And sometimes, because you were working so hard on the climb, the one and only picture you have of the climb up is of the moment just before your son came down and offered you his sweaty, sandy hand to help you keep up.  Just before you started singing Miley Cyrus' The Climb and he asked you not to sing that out loud.  Just before you realized that his hand in yours is what it's all about.