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Along a Ridgeline...


Day of most recent 2-day family hike 2017. The next day hiking out I fell and broke my collarbone, foreshadowing the El Cap ahead of me...
The Ridgeline, Mt. Lafayette, NH

Yes-- along a ridgeline; perhaps along a precipice. I speak not literally but metaphorically, inspired to think by a story my sister sent me today. The story reminded me of the gospel message I heard last month-- "Find darkness and shine your light," and of a question by a stranger as I left the gym last week-- "Do you need help?" she asked...


With my cane and obvious difficulty walking, maneuvering, multi-tasking, and doing anything that requires dexterity, my fellow gym members all know that I have some sort of disability. Some look, some don't; some look and gently smile, as if to say, "I know...it's hard. I'm sorry-- you're a warrior!" (Ok, maybe not the last part but I do like to imagine!) And then there are others; I'll drop something-- they pick it up for me; I approach a door-- they open it for me; I pick up a package at the post-office-- the postal worker takes it out to my car for me...and so on. I am continually amazed by the kindness offered by strangers. It changes my day in an instant. It can lift me up if I am feeling down; can elevate me higher regardless of my state. As I exited the gym I pass the treadmills. As the new normal, I wrestle with the door as I attempt to open it, ever-calibrating the door's weight against my own as I struggle to find the ever-elusive balance point. There is a moment before I begin to open the door that all is still and I am ready! It is at this moment that a women on the treadmill turned around and offered, "Do you need some help?". I didn't at that point, but that woman changed my day. And more-- more than a week later I am still elevated by her kindness, and yes-- even courage, to reach out to me with a blanket of warmth and stability. It will, in a way, stay with me forever; giving me another burning ember that may blow over but will never blow out...never allowing me to give in, to give up...


The ridgeline could be someone's struggle or challenge or aspiration even-- someone's El Cap...Each of us has opportunities every day to make a difference in someone's day. It could be a smile, a look, an open door, an offer to help. A simple small gesture that says you are not alone, or that I understand, or any gesture or glance of kindness and support...where will you find darkness and shine your light today?


(more on the Ridgeline and inspiration for this post here:

https://www.unionleader.com/nh/outdoors/footprints-in-the-snow-lead-to-an-emotional-rescue/article_482a2e0f-e725-5df6-9e7c-5958bdb272e5.html )



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