Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s–we all have special traditions that we celebrate this time of year. When children grow up and leave home and families are scattered far and wide many of our traditions are no longer meaningful. Then it’s time to think about creating new traditions.
I think I’m going to start a new tradition for me and Lee. Today was just one day short of being exactly a year ago that we hiked up Manzano Peak. As we hiked along I found myself pondering events of the past year. We have so much to be thankful for, not the least of which is the fact that we are both healthy and strong enough to be doing this hike again. With 9 miles of hiking and a 2000-foot elevation gain on the way up it’s not an easy hike.
Observing a tradition once every year can be a milestone that allows us to measure changes over the course of the year. I thought about all that was different in our lives and what things had stayed the same. I remembered concerns I had last year that never materialized. There were obstacles and rough spots, but just like this hike, they were overcome as we moved along one step at a time.
I also looked for landmarks along the trail that I remembered from last year. One was this heart-shaped rock. It had tumbled a bit further down the slope but was still close enough to the trail that I spotted it. Lee moved it back close to the trail, in spite of my concern that someone might come along and remove it. I’ll look forward to seeing if it’s still there next year.
This year the weather was more sunny, but there were also some patches of snow at the higher elevations; whereas last year there hadn’t been any.
The left photo is last year’s hike and the right photo is this year. I’m looking forward to next year!