Don’t Look Up

I never forget the grueling tedium of that last 4.5 miles from Indian Gardens to the South Rim of Grand Canyon.  It’s a slog.  One foot in front of the other.

“Don’t look down,” we’re often admonished.

I say: “Don’t look up.”  Don’t glance up to see the near vertical climb of that last couple thousand feet.  All snow and ice or salt and sweat, depending on the season.  The rim never seems to come down to meet you.  Instead, it rises behind false rims.  What seems like the final tier conceals another strata, recessed above some talus.

At times like these, I realize that the spoils of life, whatever the heart desires, belong not to the anointed, but to the persistent.  And that the journey of the persistent is not measured in miles or years.  It’s measured in small steps.  Put away the compass.  The trail is obvious and lies in front of you.  And toss your odometer and your stopwatch.  Measuring life by time and distance leads to discouragement, because it’s trying to cage the endlessness in our hearts, to mark the infinite with finite measures.

© 2014 by Michael C. Just