There's Always a Way to Beauty: Finding joy in access to cold mountain stream

Like many people, I've been heading to the outdoors to get away from the stress of the pandemic. Earlier this month, we went trail riding in the mountains as we hunted for wild raspberries in our UTV.

Usually the mountain air is cooler than the valley, but the sun and the heat seemed to follow us into the forest. We stopped for lunch near a bridge and my husband, Shawn, dipped the dogs in the creek to cool them off.

As he came back my way I asked, "Is there any way I can get down to the water, too?" As many of you know, I have a form of muscular dystrophy that limits my physical strength. I knew I couldn't get there on my own.

Shawn shook his head. "No, the bank is too steep for me to carry you and there's no level place to stand at the bottom."

I sighed, envious of his access to the cool water. But then I decided that I would find a better place. I declared, "I want to put my feet in the water today."

As we rode, we spotted hillside springs that were too small, ditches that were too deep, and creeks that were too far from the trail. I was beginning to wonder if I'd find what I needed.

Then, as we climbed a series of switchbacks, I saw it. Up ahead, a small stream was flowing across the trail. "Stop!" I yelled. "This is it!" 

Shawn slowed down and said, "The trail is too narrow for us to get out."

"That's okay, I don't need to get out. Just pull up and stop in the middle of the stream." He nodded as he followed my plan. Once parked, I slipped off my sandals, opened the door on the side-by-side, and swung my legs out.

Our machine was at just the right height to dangle my feet in the running water.

I sat there for a quiet moment, listening to the ripples and splashes of the stream, happy I'd discovered a way to access the water. I soaked up the sunshine and pure joy.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

This has been my guiding statement my whole life. It showed up when as a twelve-year-old, I wanted to paint my bedroom walls pink; when planning and paying for my wedding on a budget; when training to march in the Macy's Parade; and when purchasing our first home.

Call it persistence or call it stubbornness. When I set my mind on a goal, I look for every possible way around the obstacles in front of me to achieve it. What I didn't realize growing up was that this attitude was preparing me to be disabled, as I have to continuously look for ways to adapt and get access.

I realize not every material desire can be satisfied, but if you make your goal joy or beauty or enchantment, a relentless search will always be fruitful.

What kinds of goals are you relentlessly seeking?

How is your search preparing you for change or enriching your life?


Some recent Doorways:

  • I gave my sister gift for the baby she's expecting in October, and she sent me a lovely thank-you text that made me smile.

  • I watched the March on Washington, on the fifty-seventh anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's speech, and was moved by his son's and his granddaughter's demands for equality and legislative action.

  • On a recent trip to our mountain-top property, I was overjoyed to discover a patch of wild raspberries! Shawn spent half an hour picking, and I ate them with cream and sugar. Yum!

  • For a couple of weeks, every time I opened the blinds behind my kitchen table, I was treated to bright pink roses blooming on the bush below the window.


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