Maintaining it is difficult for some of us. Or perhaps just difficult at certain times in our lives. Our paths take unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes the path feels isolated, bare, lonely. The key for me is to continue taking one step at a time, always moving forward.
This is a photo of the Appalachian Trail near Lehigh Gap Pa. Sulfur dioxide emissions from the now defunct Palmerton Zinc plant killed the plants and the wildlife. The plant ran from 1898 to 1980. Twenty five years later, the area still remains bare, no potable water in the area to sustain life.
The trail to this particular area was a straight climb up the side of a very rocky mountain edge on an 85 degree day. My tin cup, which I had at the time strapped to the outside of my pack, came loose. I watched it tink-tink-tink down the side of the mountain as it bounced out of sight. I’m grateful I didn’t follow my instinct to lunge after it.
We made it to the top in one piece. I’ve made many climbs since that day, some much more treacherous–but that was a milestone for me. I’d looked at pictures of the gap, talked with other hikers about the climb. I did not know if I could do it because I’d never done it before. It looked so ominous. Turns out that it was a matter of putting one foot in front of another and not ever looking back–or down.