The wheel is come full circle. A quote from Shakespeare that tells us that life inevitably brings things back to us, or repeats things. Nineteen years ago, I worked as a seasonal Park Ranger during the summer and at a ski resort during the winter teaching kids and adults the fine art of cross-country skiing. In some ways, though I was paid a meager amount for my services, I was at my happiest during that time. The one thing that seemed missing was the lack of a proper “home.”
I now have that home, living in the woods and mountains of Nederland, Colorado. But after trying to make myself fit society’s stereotype of a successful job, working along the way at an office, sitting at a desk, dealing with office politics, I find myself back to my roots of almost twenty years ago. Just like then, I currently work seasonally in the county parks during the spring/summer/fall, and at a ski resort for the winter, and I find much like then, that I am all the more happy for it.
Today, I spent my day instructing 5-year olds how to slide down a mountain and find myself reflecting on the fun and joy of the day. There’s something about small children and the innocent and candid way they approach things. While I as an adult, can analyze things to death, projecting worse case scenarios, and allowing my fear and worry to mess up and entirely good day, I find a child’s viewpoint to be so pure and simple. Faced with the daunting task of stuffing their tiny little feet into clunky ski boots and strapping themselves to small boards, they handle it with aplomb and resilience. At one point, one little girl careened into an adult, falling on the ground hard. She quickly bounced back up, and in answer to our question, “Are you ok?”, she smiled and continued down the hill.
Their ability to stay in the moment and handle adversity acts as a salve to my more jaded self. As I rode the lift this afternoon with a little girl, singing Christmas carols and playing I spy, I couldn’t think of anything better that I would rather be doing at that moment. She jubilantly whispered in my ear that it was one of the best days of her life, and smiled brightly. That moment filled my own heart with fullness, and I felt grateful to be able to share it with her. It was akin to the Grinch’s heart growing three times that day….
It’s certainly nice to have money to buy nice homes, travel on trips, and accumulate more stuff I suppose. But experiences can warm your heart, and restore your spirit in a way that money can never buy. As they say on tv, certain things really are priceless.