One foot in front of the other. Head down. Keep walking. Breathe.
I found myself trudging along a beaten trail in the desert, trying to keep up with the other hikers in the group but feeling a bit lightheaded. My sinus infection couldn’t keep me from getting out for this unique opportunity to hike at sunset and watch the moon rise a half hour later.
It was important to watch where I stepped to avoid loose sand and rocks and to keep me from plunging into a cactus. I needed a firm foundation to go from step to step.
Yet, in concentrating on my footing, I easily lost sight of the beautiful scenery around me: the browns, grays, greens and yellows of the desert landscape, the sun stretching toward the horizon, the sprawling city in the not-so-far distance.
Fortunately, our tour guide stopped occasionally to let all of the hikers catch up. And in those moments, I took in my environs, thankful I was well enough to experience them, grateful for the fresh air, and pleased at the sound of the chirping birds.
That night, I walked away with more than a wonderful memory. I left with a reminder of a crucial life lesson: In all of the busyness we experience every day, it’s important to stop and survey our surroundings, to look back on where we came from and to gaze ahead to our destination. That makes it easier to enjoy the journey.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"