Sunday, December 4, 2016

to be thankful for whatever

the “worth” of a hike

“Is it worth it?”
she asks me as she toils up the trail,
we’re descending after reaching our goal
of two miles of aerobics on a trail
that wouldn’t easily turn an ankle,

today we had added gifts of sharp clear views
of mountain top, ridge, and valley,
no peregrine falcon 
and fewer hoar-frosted trees
than I’d hoped for,

“Of course, it was worth it.” I think,
and we tell her of the views,

more broadly, and more deeply, though,
I wonder at the question
and how she would define “worth,”

if it had stayed overcast,
with the mist settled all over us,
and views close and clouded,
I would have still been happy with the hike,

as long as we can still throw ourselves up the mountain,
my heart and lungs, and soul, find it “worth it,”

if we get anything more than just being able
to still breathe and feel,
it is a wonderful extra gift,

our challenge is to ready ourselves to be thankful
for whatever the world allows us to experience,

“Is it worth it?”
oh, my God, the question should be:
“Are we worth it?”
and I hope the answer is “Yes!”

by Henry H. Walker

November 20, ‘16

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