Mountains Out of Mole Hills

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“You are making a mountain out of a mole hill!”  I heard that often as a little girl.  I will admit I was hotheaded and spirited young girl, much to the dismay of my very calm parents.  I would become upset over a broken toy, a perceived slight by a playmate or a failed project.  My mother who I am sure has the patience of a saint would console me with those words.  It took me a long time to even figure out what she was meaning.  My young brain tossed the words around trying to make sense of how a mole hill could be as large as a mountain.  Maybe to a tiny insect a mole hill was a mountain, or maybe it was a giant mole she was referring to.

As an adult I let that phrase guide my reactions to events.  Many times a situation is nothing more than a ‘mole hill’ but it can feel like a towering monolith.  The one thing parenthood has unequivocally taught me is, most situations are just mole hills in the grand scheme of things.  

Approach your life with the thought that most scenarios are just small trials to overcome, not huge unattainable blocks in your road.  Travel on and around the small hills remembering most are not mountains.

Travel well my friends.  

Simple Treasures

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Travel moves my soul.  It makes me feel alive.  It helps me to gain perspective on our big wide world.  I desire travel like I desire my children’s happiness.  The mountains call to me, the beach beckons, faraway lands whisper for me to explore.  The path that was not taken will always be my favorite passage.  I want to stumble through snow in July and trudge through the tropics in February.  I want to venture to the top of the next ridge and look over an unexplored valley.  I need to board a train with no particular destination in mind. 

On this day I wish you happiness, inner peace and a sense of adventure in all you do.  Even if travel is not your inspiration, enjoy the simple treasures around you.  They abound even when life is crashing over you, there will always be a blessing for you.  Look closely and enjoy the day.

Travel well my friends.

Parking Lot Fly Fishing

As I age I feel I am approaching the “Now I’ve seen everything” stage of my life.  Just when I think “Yep I’m here!” something crops up to show me I have a lot to learn.

Driving down a well used residential street you will eventually come to a crossroads with another well used residential street.  The city may have installed a roundabout or a few stop signs to help slow the traffic down, attempting to keep the peace with the neighborhood associations.  As the years go by the streets are widened to accommodate the growing populations, some houses are removed that don’t pass city codes and a traffic light goes up.  City developers move in like circling vultures waiting for the death of their next meal.  We passively call this progress.

On this intersection sits a small community of businesses.  Years after the progress, the developers having moved on, the glory and money of the businesses are struggling.  Gone are the fancy new, well-kept buildings.  Now stands the well-worn shells of yesteryear.  A small business owner keeping her beloved frame shop open with little to, no parking and no foot traffic except from the elementary age children on their way to and from school.  An office building that rents inexpensive square footage to any businesses that are willing to give up location, visibility and modernizations (although they do have eight parking spaces).

Today in passing by I actually saw movement in that tiny parking lot of the office building.  It appeared two men were experimenting with fly fishing.  Casting, and pulling, reeling in just to flick and cast again.  The only thing missing from this pastoral scene was the scenery.  I circled the block, just to take a second look, thinking I had missed something.  Nope.  Still fishing in the invisible stream, catching invisible fish with their hip waders on.

In my mind I can come up with half a dozen logical reasons for these fishermen to be “parking lot fly fishing”.  Yet I kind of like the idea that they were fishing….just fishing.  Maybe in their mind’s eye that pastoral scene was there.  The majestic mountains rising from a green, flower dappled field, cut through by the clear snow melt stream, rocks shimmering by the splashing water.  The sound of rushing water and gentle breezes tickling their ears as they cast and cast again.  Touching the surface of the water with their flies, tantalizing hungry fish to come take a bite.  A vast expanse of our world carved out in their minds just for them.  Enjoying the relaxation of a loved activity.

Sometimes my life is more complicated than I would like and taking time to savor my favorite activities seems as impossible as catching a prize trout from the parking lot.  My hope for these two men is when their fly fishing time is right they will be able to uncomplicate their lives so they can fish beyond that concrete parking lot.  Just as my hope for everyone is to simplify your lives enough to truly enjoy this one life we are blessed with.  Work hard for what you want but play harder for what you need.

Travel well my friends.

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