I didn’t make any new resolutions this year.
I didn’t write down my affirmations and burn them with the flame of a candle in my backyard. ( That was last year.)
I did not have a list of accomplishments from last year — no time spent reflecting how far I’ve come.
I look at my children’s lives. I see growth there. But they are children. They are designed to grow.
What about me? That’s still my question for myself to answer. When will I grow, move on, pursue the life I’ve wanted. Will I forever be a coward, unable to accept the effort and risk involved to accomplish my own desires?
Imagine standing on a boulder along the river. I need to get across the river. Imagine it’s the month of May. Spring runoff.
I have to get from HERE to THERE, on the other side of the river where the grass may not be greener, but perhaps there is an elk that I can shoot so that I may feed my family.
I can’t swim. Even if I could, I couldn’t swim and win against the high, muddy flood waters between this lone rock and the other side.
Elks says nothing, chews on the nutrition rich grasses. Ignores me.
I want that Elk.
I have a bow and a few arrows. I could shoot the elk, maybe, from here. If it weren’t for the western winds, combined with the updraft from the rushing water of the river.
If I killed it from here, I would still be here and it would still be there.
I have to get across the river. Somehow.
I look to the left and right of me. A shore of jagged rocks, much like the one I stand upon. More rocks, everywhere.
But in the distance, upstream I faintly see a fallen tree that stretches across the most narrow span of the river.
To my right then, I will step stone by stone by stone to reach that makeshift bridge.
That’s what I’ve got to do.
I suspect the bridge will be slippery and wet. I suspect it will be narrow and taper at the top of the tree as I near the other side. I could fall into the muddy, dangerous waters, be washed down stream into nothingness.
If I cross it successfully, something unexpected might happen. The elk may move on. It may leave to another grazing area and I would still lose.
Or he might hang out. Maybe he’s stuck as I am.
I can dream up several disastrous scenarios, if I like.
But if I truly want to get to the other side, this one route is the way I must go. I must take one step to the stone next to this one.
Then from there, take a small jump over to the next stone and so on.
It’s the only way I see. If there’s a better way, I’d take it. I don’t see one.
While I take my slow and sometimes difficult steps along the way, I can’t dwell on what the elk does. I must have faith the prize will be there when I arrive.
And if it’s not?
I have two new choices: Go back or go forward. It’s as easy as that.