|Tom: "I'm in the leader."|
Life is crazy. There are always so many demands on my time-- so many excuses that prevent me from doing meaningful things like spending time with my family. I often stay behind when they go on hikes or other outings, explaining that I "have too much Physics homework" or "have several tests to study for," or whatever it may be. But sometimes I feel compelled to put away school, stress, and all my excuses, and enjoy God's beautiful creation with the family that He has given me. And you know what? It's so worth it.
My baby brother, Tom, leads the hike with a tiny hiking stick in his hand and a hat with bear ears on his head. Next, Chloe and Aaron race along the path, climbing, laughing, and pointing out parts of the trail they find interesting-- an ancient truck that must've crashed there decades ago or a collection of rocks formed into a simple fire pit. Benjamin and I are next in line, chatting, making a few jokes, and often just walking in thoughtful silence. Finally, my parents walk behind us. They comment on the beautiful scenery, smile at each other, and laugh along with the rest of us. After hiking for an hour and a half or so, we reach our destination, a large rock cliff, and feast our eyes on the glorious panoramic view of expansive valley below. We can see miles and miles of lakes, trees, and not-so-distant mountains. It's one of our very favorite places to hike. We decided to head back down when the sky began to dim, and reached the bottom just as the last traces of the sun disappeared.