Lessons from the Sandstone

Our family took a magical, adventurous, and once in a lifetime journey together to Arizona in December. One of the trip highlights was a descent into Glen Canyon. The hike was not for the timid and we took extra precautions throughout to “take risks” in a safe and controlled environment. Both subtle and obvious lessons emerged on that journey- equally powerful.

The first lesson for our teen girls was: Commitment creates stability. It took several practice attempts for them to realize that in order to gain stability from footing on sandstone, you had to resist the urge to use your hands for stability. Instead- by digging deep into your courage and committing your weight fully into your feet- you establish connection with the sandstone. The result? There is an amazing feeling of strength and that you have solid ground beneath you.

climbing sandstone

The second lesson came when we approached some of the set “anchors” along the descent.

This second lesson: Be your OWN anchor first.Sandstone rock anchor

It was very clear at this crossroads that we were to resist the urge to blindly accept this as our anchor. Instead- we were sure that we could count on our own footing and only make moves that we could maintain our own safety.
The most breathtaking section of the trip was when we approached this cable and after some investigation by mom and dad- we decided to live our family mantra and lesson #3: If you’re not living life on the edge, you may be taking up too much room!cable over the edge

Lesson #4: The best gifts may be those you cannot wrap. The hike out was our best family gift of 2014 and was filled with moments to open over and over again. We took the “path less traveled” and this proved to create an adventure, a family memory, and a set of mantras and lessons to draw from as we go through life’s challenges and rewards together.

Lesson #5: The best connections are from nature, not WIFI. We spent 5.5 hours on this journey as a family and when we did “find the car”, we treasured the fact that we did not see a single person the entire time- only us- the crazy, loving Birch family…