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The Perfect Day

Sedona - The Seven Sacred Pools

A brief conversation on the hiking trail turned that day from simply a perfect day into an unforgettable one. Crisp morning air. Bluer-than-blue skies. Old trees. Red rocks. Remnants of snow. Clambering up and down moderately challenging terrain made me grateful for both my yoga (oh yes…holding Chair Pose definitely pays off!) and my cardio work. Our destination: The Seven Sacred Pools.

Throughout the day we greeted a number of other hikers, all of us warming in the joy of a bright winter sun. On our return we exchanged pleasantries with two men (probably about my age). We talked of the incredible beauty and they told us they had been hiking at the Grand Canyon the day before. As we walked off in different directions my companion called back, “Enjoy the day!” One cheerfully replied “There’s something wrong with me if I don’t!”

Given the day’s splendor this would have been unremarkable except for one important detail: hiking crutches. The man who called back to us was on forearm crutches due, apparently, to a neurological disorder. Here he was, miles into a somewhat tricky hike over rocks, up and down hills, through sticky mud and the slippery remains of yesterday’s snow, on a pace at least as fast as mine!

I will long remember this day and this man and his resilient cheer. My own challenges have not been physical like his. But each of us has grief, or loss, or pain, or disease, or heartache - things that make it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Each day takes its own kind of courage.

This man, whose name I will never know, is a reminder for me to take that next step no matter how easy or hard. To savor every Now, every tiny moment of Time I've been given, and to do it with joy. There’s something wrong with ME if I don’t.

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