It’s been a few years since I hiked up the Cowles Mountain fire road as I did yesterday. I loved spending time with my friend Leslie, catching up about life. The summit view didn’t disappoint as it was clear in all directions, unblocked by clouds or smog. I enjoy the fire road’s less crowded path with steep climbs and wide stretches of openness.
I suppose choosing to hike the fire road could be a metaphor for the choices I’ve made on my life’s journey. I’ve opted for steep climbs on less crowded paths that have offered large stretches of discovery. The fire road connects to other hiking paths but holds a steady breadth of presence to sustain the purpose for being there by providing safe passage when needed.
On the fire road there are no shortcuts to the top. Upon reaching the summit, it’s an arrival that’s unseen until it’s achieved. Arriving at the top of the mountain occurs on the backside out of sight from the front view. Yet upon reaching the summit, fire road hikers converge with other hikers who’ve experienced their own climb to the summit by way of their chosen path.
Such is life. We hike. We climb. We choose our path. We arrive. We pause in the beauty of our summits.
The fire road isn’t better than any other path. It’s just the one I happen to choose that’s provided the experiences I need for my journey.
May we all recognize the beauty on the journey of our chosen path as it aligns with the experiences we need for appreciating the unblocked vantage this miraculous life offers us at whatever summit we’re desiring to reach.