It’s Friday—my first Aloha Friday as a former Hawaii resident. I woke up a little chilly in my room in the basement of my parents’ house. At 8:00 am, I finally wondered what the temperature was. It was a solid 59 degrees (basically totally freezing to me). Before leaving Hawaii, a friend gave me some long-sleeved fleece jackets she no longer needed and I thankfully put one on while getting ready to leave the house. I’d purged my closet of winter clothes years ago.
At 8:20 am, my parents and I met my sister and her two little girls up American Fork Canyon. I wanted to go for a morning walk in a beautiful setting and my sister had great ideas of where to go. We parked near a gurgling river nestled in the canyon floor and headed out on an easy asphalt path.
My sister wore a light jacket and shorts. My dad wore jeans and a polo shirt with no jacket. My mom wore a light jacket, pants, gloves, and earmuffs. I had athletic pants and the warmest of the gifted jackets. My family said they weren’t really cold. However, I was really cold.
Walking Along the Path Together
Trusting that a brisk walk along the canyon trail would warm me up, I set out with my family.
What a glorious setting! Fiery reds and oranges splashed color along the path. The river’s song matched our lighthearted footsteps. Sunshine began dancing on the canyon walls overhead highlighting the bursts of color with its warm vibrancy.
And still, with a beautiful, brisk walk, I felt very little change in my body temperature. Whenever I pulled them from my pockets, my fingers felt totally frozen. Everyone else, including the little girls, were fine.
I stopped verbally comparing myself to the others though I occasionally checked to see if the little girls ever had goosebumps. They never did. I knew I experienced a different journey.
Finally, after winding up and down the path, and on the return trip, I felt heat building across the trunk of my body. Though not warm enough to unzip my jacket, I happily exclaimed that I was warming up!
Soon, we made it back over the bridge to the little parking lot. We all enjoyed our little 1.76-mile walk and I tried to convince everyone to do it almost every day I’m here.
Every Person a Different Journey
“In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Probably because my husband and I are in the middle of another move, which is a time when I reflect on my life’s journey “compared” to other lovely life journeys, the walk proved very instructive.
Even though we all walked along the same path with the same beginning and conclusion, a lot of things vastly differentiated our walking experience.
Our Individual Journeys
For instance, Dad, who has some bruised ribs and muscles, decided to wait for us along the path after a steep incline. He walked alone along the river and then climbed the hill and sat on a perfectly situated rock and awaited our return. He tailored the walk to his need and had a great time.
Mom spent most of the walk entertaining granddaughters in the stroller. She ran ahead and made funny sounds as the girls squealed with laughter. She managed the shoes that were flicked out of the stroller along the way and answered every call for her attention. She had a great time.
The girls mostly spent their time in the stroller—the seven-month-old sat placidly, enjoying grandma’s antics. The 18-month-old spent most of the walk wanting to get out of the stroller to walk by herself or push her baby sister. When the time came that she was able to exit the stroller, she bounced out and immediately took position by her mom to push the baby. She babbled happily as she walked along doing big girl stuff. Their squeals of delight said they had a great time.
My sister, familiar with that path, pointed out upcoming scenic things, pushed two kids up and down hills, perpetually told one daughter she couldn’t get out, and then very patiently walked slowly as that toddler helped. There’s really not a slow bone in my sister’s body, so I love seeing how she’s willing to slow down as a mom for her kids’ benefit. She had a great time.
I spent my time photographing every new, colorful tree, craning to see the rugged canyon walls, and listening to the river. I loved the girls’ laughter and the sunlight dancing through the trees. I smelled all the amazing forest and the occasional fire smells. I loved being with these loved ones I don’t see a lot. I loved experiencing new places I haven’t really discovered before. And even though I was cold, I had a great time.
Same Start Point and Same End Point but a Different Journey
We left from the same point. We returned to the same point. And while we traveled together, laughed together, and helped each other, ultimately our experienced journeys were all very different. We just let them be without expecting anyone to have someone else’s journey or forcing our expectations on someone else (aside from necessary parental precautions). We all were ourselves and we all had a great time.
And isn’t that just the way our journeys through life should be?
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.