Down in the Valley

Yesterday, we made a family trip to Rattlesnake Lake. The crew wanted to hike to the top of Rattlesnake Ledge. Part of me wanted to get to the top too, even though that sheer cliff drop at the top made my hands clammy to look at it. As it turned out, I wound up hiking just a little way up, then returning down with my little grandson Weston, whom I’ve written about before. The two of us had a lovely time on our return trip, Weston taking time to hug a tree (he was so delighted to find one slender enough to wrap his arms and really hug), and saying hi to every hiker, old and young, who passed us on their way up or down.

Down in the valley, we found a prime spot in the grass by the lake and used our binoculars to watch his two uncles, who made it all the way to the top of the mountain, and who were perched out on the very edge (yikes!) waving to us.

It was a different perspective down in the valley. Through Weston’s eyes it was wonderful, seeing those on the mountain top and getting excited about them, but also thoroughly enjoying every thing around us, down in the valley. We pretended to be helicopter passengers on a big log, with Weston piloting us. We found some great rocks to pick up, rolled in the grass, and laughed as the wind off the lake tickled our faces. Once more it’s a lesson for me, both in writing and in life. It’s great to be on the mountaintop, but most of us spend a whole lot of time down in the valleys. Why waste energy wishing we were on the mountaintop? Wave to those who are there at the moment, cheer them on–and pay attention to all the wonders in this part of the valley we’re in. Right now my writing valley includes some delightful short stories for Pockets, some brainstorming for my next writing project, dinking around with my almost ready to market novel, and tons of everyday experience “research” as I enjoy all my family members coming through for visits here in the lovely Northwest.

And come to think of it, that is the valley of my life right now, and it’s a pretty wonderful place to be. It’s blessing to have kids and grandkids and friends all around me through this summertime, to do the ordinary things together. I’ll have the Mountain Top experiences again, I know. For now, there’s a lot of joy right here in the valley.


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