When Striving Ceases

Over 16 years it is amazing the random things that can be found in almost 25 acres of mountain property. We get our share of trash that just seems to blow in with the wind, but other things can truly cause one to stop and wonder how in the world that got there…and why? Still, there are a lot of things that are common and are always interesting to look at when you find them.

Random skeleton parts from various wildlife. A variety of wildflowers in all colors and style. Multiple variations of cacti which stand out quite dramatically when they are in bloom.

Perhaps one of the most random things that falls into the “how did that get here?” category is a horse shoe found at the top of the hill. This isn’t just a “hill,” but a pretty intense 350+ foot vertical climb. Just a pause to take a breath during the steep incline, then looked down to the feet, and there it was. A little research shows that it’s possible the horseshoe was somewhere up to 100 years old. 

In 2010, our younger son came across a deer shed. Given the number of deer that wander through the property year-round this was not necessarily a huge surprise but not something that has been discovered on a regular basis either. And this one was pretty cool. Since that time the number of scouting hikes and consciously looking for and hoping for a find of something similar has happened. Then one day, quite randomly during a snowshoeing hike, the most phenomenal shed is found with just its tips sticking above the snow.

Not just any shed, but an elk shed. There are elk all around, and (obviously) they’ve been on our land, but in all the years we’ve only visibly seen them on our property once. This year we’ve seen scat and hoof prints that indicate more traffic than ever before. And it got me to thinking…

How is that like so many times when we try and try, and push and push, and drive and strive for something that just seems to elude us over and over. Sometimes I think we try so hard that we miss what we’re looking for, maybe something right in front of us. Instead, when things don’t go as we want them to or hope for them to, or we work so hard for, we get frustrated or discouraged or disappointed. And then we often miss the enjoyment of the journey. The elk shed was a lesson to me that sometimes I just need to sit back, hang tight, maybe even exercise patience. I don’t quit or give up hope or abandon my dreams, but sometimes I don’t need to make them so much the focus of my thoughts and actions that I miss things right in front of me.

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