Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Keeping Your Eyes On the Summit

For WIP Wednesday this week I'm going to quickly report on how I'm doing and then move right on to the philosophical moment of the last week.

I'm ecstatic to have finally reached the halfway point of my rough draft!! WAHOO!! (And as your random trivia for today, Wahoo is actually a fish. But you probably all knew that and have been laughing that I exclaim a fish name when I'm excited. Wahoo has a much better ring than, say, "TUNA!")

On the perhaps not-so-happy side, I may have to write out one of my main characters. When you constantly write a character getting hauled off in scene after scene because he gets in the way, then maybe it's a hint. Or maybe his purpose in the story needs to change. *pondering*

And now for the philosophical moment:

Last Friday night some friends invited me on a hike early Saturday morning. We're not talking just a hike, though, we're talking Hike, with a capital "H." As in leaving at 5:00 a.m. and hiking for 12.4 miles and 10 hours up to the summit of a mountain, 11,749 feet in elevation. I see this mountain every day when I set foot outside, and I've always wanted to go to the top. But I had a list of things I planned on getting to on Saturday, and it was last minute. Plus it would be cold, and dark, and I was pretty tired from a long week. So I wasn't sure if I would go or not.

I spent an hour debating in pure Libra fashion. My husband finally turned to me and told me to list the pros and cons. There were several cons, and two pros: it would be fun and I've always wanted to do it. He said, "You can do all those other things any time, but this opportunity doesn't come along very often. I think you should go."

Which meant that he would watch the kids and clean the house all by himself while I was off playing. (I love that man.)

So I told my friends I was in and quickly packed. When the alarm went off at 4:30 and I was making myself eat a bowl of oatmeal, I was still questioning my decision. It was an adventure hiking in the dark, especially when one of my water bottles leaked all over my backpack, sweatshirt, and pants.

Then the sun started to come up.

And the aspen leaves whispered in the the breeze.

And it illuminated further than just two feet in front of me. I was no longer just avoiding rocks and mud and blindly following a trail someone else had made.

I could finally see--really see. And every single reservation disappeared.

It was still all uphill, but now I could see my amazing journey!

The goal was the very top. Yep, that very top.

There were many other people on the same path. Traveling the same journey. And we waved and smiled at each other. I felt safe that if something happened to me or my friends, there were dozens of others around who could--and would--help. We were all in the journey together.

At times the going was hard and maybe a little scary.

But we kept our eyes on our ultimate goal: the summit.

And when we got there, hours after we started and with really tired legs, it was unbelievable. And worth every single step, stumble, water spill, and bathroom trip in the trees.

Whatever summit you're aiming for in life, keep your eyes trained on it. When the sun rises, look around and enjoy the incredible journey. Notice the others traveling the path with you. Smile at them, wave to them, and stop to help.

And when you finally reach the top, it will all be worth it. Because anything really worth it is worth the hike to get there.


Lady Glamis said...

What a great post! I love hiking to that summit. I was just on the Alpine Loop yesterday looking at Timp. So pretty! I'm glad you had a chance to to do this.

I'm on the last chapter of my rewrite of my novel, and keeping my eye on the summit has been so important!

ali said...

Congratulations Jaime! Awesome pics. :)

L.T. Elliot said...

I didn't know Wahoo was a fish. You learn something new every day.

Way to go on that hike! The pictures are just incredible. Great moral for life too.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, that's great! Loved the pics, too!
What a great experience.
And congrats on your halfway point!

Kimberly said...

Your husband is an absolute sweetheart!

And I love what a beautiful parallel to life you made out of your experience.

C.S. Bezas said...

What a great post, Jaime! Loved it, loved it. I'm bookmarking it. And congrats on your first-draft with such great progress, you inspirational woman you!