Along for the ride

Snake River Grand Teton National Park WyomingWhat makes the river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt – it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.
~ Hal Boyle

This is such a simple quote with such a powerful message. Sometimes we feel like we need to hyper-focus on that one cause that we think will bring meaning to our life. When that “thing” doesn’t live up to our expectations, we can easily feel defeated before reluctantly moving on to the next idea on our list. In my experience, this leads to a very unproductive cycle of temporary highs with the hope of something new followed by extended lows when those hopes are unfulfilled. Instead of chasing our purpose, maybe we should simply become aware of it in the context of our everyday life.

Water is all around us. It comprises about three quarters of the Earth’s surface. It is the source of all life.

I’ll say that again … water is the source of all life. Perhaps we should take notice of this fact and recognize its significance. Looking at the river, it is always moving towards its destination full of life, ebbing and flowing with no worries about where it is going.

Rivers know this: There is no hurry, we shall get there someday. ~ A.A. Milne

Instead of trying to focus on something out in the future, maybe we should focus on what is directly in front of us. There are opportunities presented to us everywhere and everyday. It is our choice whether we take advantage of them or not.

For those of you that know me personally, the title of this post will ring true. My moniker as ‘Along For The Ride’ started out as a playful representation of my role in one of my son’s passions.

PeregrineFalconAnatumMy 10 year old son loves birding. He has a passion for raptors, specifically the Peregrine Falcon (which, by the way, happens to be the fastest creature on Earth). He has taken his passion to extraordinary levels for any person, let alone a 10 year old boy. He has volunteered at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch for the past two years and he has started the Young Birders Of Brevard group for youngsters in our county.

Yes, I am a very proud Dad. Not necessarily because  my son has accomplished so much, but rather because of the person he has become and is becoming. He believes that anything is possible. He is persistent in finding a  way to implement any idea in his head, no matter what.

I was along for the ride, usually driving. I didn’t have the passion and drive for birding that my son had, but I wanted to share his passion with him. Therein, the aha moment hit me on the head with the speed of a stooping peregrine.

Are we really sure whether something is going to excite us until we try it? Why shouldn’t we go into anything that we do with an openness and willingness to let the experience permeate our being? Leave all expectations and negative preconceived notions at the front door. Just go out, explore the world around us, try something new, and let happen what will happen. At the very least, the experience will be another holistic piece of our life story. At the very best, perhaps you will find a new passion, something that will lead you to your life calling.

Never doubt that you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now. It’s all a part of your journey. Like the river, go with the flow knowing that you are headed exactly where you are supposed to be going.

Oh, and by the way, I now have two favorite birds, the Northern Harrier and the Swallow-Tailed Kite. I may not be the next Audubon Society activist, but I have learned just how important birds are to gauging the health of our ecosystem and I have taken a vested interest in their well-being. More importantly, I have met some amazing people along the way and shared some very special memories with those close to me. Now, that’s what life is all about.

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