The unplanned reaps reward – Part 2

Bristlecone

There is immense beauty in in our world, and frequently we just stumble upon it.  On one memorable outing in the Colorado back country, my hiking partner and I were traversing the west slope of Pikes Peak along a nice ridge.  I like to hike ridges because they are easy to move along.  The trees are more scattered and a ridge offers panoramic views.  This particular ridge was no different.  To the east, one could view the gorgeous Pikes Peak and to the west, the Sawatch mountain range.  Stunning the whole way!  Nearby were great rock formations to explore.  All in all, it was a great day.  We planned to follow the ridge another half mile or so and then drop down into a canyon that would lead us back to our car near Horse Thief Park.  My hiking partner was about 20 feet ahead of me and started to drift to the right towards the top of the canyon when he stopped to adjust his equipment before the descent.  As I waited for him, I stood on a boulder to get a good 360° view – I frequently do this to get a better perspective (I call it sight-seeing).   Something caught my eye to the left, so I hopped down and wandered a few feet in that direction, opposite our planned descent.

I was pulled in – more accurately, I was enchanted in.  It was amazing.  I quickly signaled my hiking partner to come and look.  Quite honestly I had to persuade him, since he had already started heading down.  I assured him this side trip would be worthwhile.

What I stumbled across was a tiny little oasis hidden at 10,000 feet above sea level.  It was an expanse of several acres.  Three sides were surrounded by flat rock walls that reached about thirty to forty feet in height.  It gave the appearance of a little, natural fortress in the wilderness protecting a grassy central prairie.  It was stunning!  A grove of the rare bristle cone pine stood at one side.  Twisted and gnarled, these majestic trees stood ageless in this setting, resisting eons of wind and weather – some possibly hundreds, if not a thousand years old.  A grassy expanse covered the central area – suitable for a cabin and garden plots, if one was inclined to mar this tranquil setting with civilization.

The place was absolutely surreal and these few words of description fall far short in describing the immense beauty.  We spent some time exploring and savoring the moment in this gem of a location.

The moral of this account is that sometimes the unplanned events in our lives reap the greatest reward.  Sure it is useful to have a plan, especially when your activities involve or influence a number of people.  However, if you walk through life with your eyes and ears open and maintain a child-like curiosity and willingness to explore the world around you – you will discover great beauty at many turns.  A necessary attribute is the ability to put aside one’s personal agenda.  Life happens.  Our plans get interrupted.  Maybe it is frustrating at first, but almost always the interruptions bring value, meaning, and the opportunity to attain a fresh perspective.

Be flexible.  Keep your eyes open for the beauty and opportunities around.  Sometimes beauty appears when unexpected.  Keep your eyes up and search the horizon.  You might miss something while looking down at your feet or behind you or at the map or your mobile device.

The unplanned events in life often yield the greatest rewards and bring meaning to our world. 

What unplanned events have brought the greatest reward in your life?

About John Forrest

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