I took my two youngest hiking this morning because my hubby was working and my older two boys were camping.
I knew it would be quite a hike for them especially my 4 year old. We had tried the hill before, but didn't make it even half way before he tuckered out, then he fell and got scraped up and it was all over, he wanted to go home.
My six year old is always gung ho and was carrying on a full conversation while hiking up the hill. So we walked, he talked, we looked for animals and stopped for drinks. Eventually we made it to the top where they then played a full on game of tag while I sat down and looked at the view. I could see mountains that are over 100 miles away. I could see my van waaaayyy down at the bottom looking pretty small. I could see my kids playing, aggravating the ants, looking for lizards, watching a lone butterfly and seeing some birds soar.
On the way down, the boys were practically running down the hill.
As I watched them, I kept thinking, "Wait! Slow down. Don't you want to savor the easy part?"
They didn't need to savor it as much as I did, because for them the hike was easy.
It was a little harder for me. I wanted to sit and enjoy it because it had been kind of a struggle but I had made it.
Isn't it interesting how we have challenges and struggles and sometimes they are so hard we can barely take the next step or another breath? We just aren't sure we will make it.
But then we breathe, we step, and in time we find that we made it.
I have watched recently as people have celebrated milestones, a marriage, an anniversary, a birthday, and it has largely been about inviting friends to celebrate with them. To enjoy the story behind getting there.
Making it to the wedding day after years of trying to find someone.
An anniversary that came in spite of some years where they weren't sure they wanted to stay together, but they did and then truly had reason to celebrate.
A birthday milestone after having had cancer and then realizing that they indeed not only made it, but made it five more years.
We celebrate the "making it".
There really is no celebration in easy peasy.
When was the last time you celebrated folding socks? Now it might be different if you were folding socks after having lost your hands, or have bad arthritis.
The true celebration comes from having the struggle. And somehow in the struggle we do get stronger. The next hill we face is a little easier to climb at the beginning, the part we have gained muscle from in our last hill.
I sometimes find myself whining about how hard something is, when the reality is, I'm just headed uphill and there will be a great view when I've struggled to the top. I will have cause for joy.
And if I'm smart, I will take a moment to celebrate the struggle that got me to where I could see all the beauty that I missed while I was climbing.