Life Lesson #7 From Camel’s Hump


#7      Sometimes, we just have to stop and stare at the view.


6 IMG_1054


And doing it barefoot is a bonus.
I remember this moment. I had not yet reached the summit.  But at that moment, when the path broke out of the canopy and meandered its way along the edge of the mountain, I had had enough. And I had both a positive and a negative reason to sit down.


Here was a spectacular view. It seemed as good a time as any to just sit awhile and enjoy the moment.  That was the positive.


The path would take me along the edge of the mountain and I wasn’t at all sure I had the stamina to stay upright.  I could envision me losing my balance and tumbling over … and down. That was the negative.


So I sat down.  Taking off my shoes and socks and letting my toes wiggle in the breeze was a no brainer. Both were wet.


After laying the socks over a rock behind me to dry, I snapped this photo, posted it to my Facebook page, and laid back and stared. I was very content.


Then, I heard Elijah and Raleigh.

“Gramma Janet,” one of them called out. “You must see the top. It’s spectacular.”


For most of our hike up, Elijah had been reminding his father that he DID NOT like heights.  His dad would just say he could stop whenever it got too scary, and Elijah kept on going.


There he was, with his nine-year-old brother, scampering around the bend in the path ahead.

If it’s not too high for Elijah, how can it be too high for me? 


On went the still-wet socks.  On went the still-damp shoes. And up I got.


The respite had been nice. But Grandmas must go where Grandmas must go.


And off I went.  To the top.


The summit 2


Do you remember this shot from Lesson #1?  I did make it all the way to the top. Thanks to Elijah and Raleigh’s prompting.

How about you? How are you at stopping and staring?  



[learn_more caption=”Did you miss the earlier posts? If so, here are the links: “] #13   When the going gets tough, each step is of equal importance.
#12   Sometimes, perseverance is more important than having fun.
#11    Sometimes, there is no single, absolutely right place to put your foot.
#10   Sometimes, when we try to follow the signs, it ends in disaster. 
#9     Sometimes, the path we need to take doesn’t look like a path at all.
#8     Sometimes, we just have to stop and listen.


13 Responses

  1. Merril Smith
    | Reply

    I’m glad you made it to top–wet socks and shoes and all!
    I think the height would be scary to me, too–but the view is certainly wonderful!

    Right now I’m tired and avoiding getting to work–so I’m doing lots of stopping and staring. 😉

  2. Janet Givens
    | Reply

    Hi Merril, I’m glad too. Though I’m struck by how easily I made the decision to stop. In hindsight, I think I actually enjoyed the view more from that lower vantage point, with my back against the rock and the sun warm on my toes. Up at the summit the wind howled and although the kids were scampering around under their father’s eye, I clung to the ground, certain I’d be swept off at any moment. I’d wanted to take a 360 degree video once I got up there, but I forgot. I guess I don’t do heights. OK. Back to work, both of us.

  3. Joan Z. Rough
    | Reply

    What gorgeous view, Janet, and congrats on making it all the way. I’m starting and stopping a lot these days. Taking a few moments here and there to gather thoughts, contemplate, and then move forward is, I believe, the only way to go!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thanks, Joan. You’ve nicely paraphrased one of my daily mantras: One step at a time. And, seems to me you’ve been climbing your own Camel’s Hump for a long tine. I’m excited for you, with your manuscript about to burst forth. Can’t wait to read it.

  4. Kathleen Pooler
    | Reply

    Brava, Grandma Janet for risking all to see that glorious view. It reminds me that when we keep our eyes on the goal, we are able to overcome any obstacles –wet shoes and sox, tired bones et al. Also thanking that little breather along the way gave you some perspective. Good job!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Ah, Kathy. I love that you are adding your own lessons here. You remind me that my original idea for this series was to offer a prompt, then pull an ebook together from all the other lessons that readers came up with. But my need for a lazy summer won out. There are so many to pull from this one daylong trek. Thanks for adding yours.

  5. Shirley Hershey Showalter
    | Reply

    Hats off to you, Janet. When those grandchildren can do it, we can too. And our courage at the very end teaches them resilience.

    Stopping and staring for me right now involves my continuing amazement at how long it is taking to get to the “Box in the basement.” I have been traveling so much this year that I haven’t made much progress at all.

    But the important thing is that I keep on climbing. Right?

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Indeed it is the important thing. Unless it’s time to stop and take a break. If you do, I recommend removing the shoes!

  6. Ian Mathie
    | Reply

    Stopping and staring is good. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss anything by rushing ever onwards, would you? But then, going on is good too, otherwise you might miss seeing that glorious view from the top because the cloud has come in and shrouded the mountain in soggy white vapour. Then more than your feet and socks will be damp, your spirits will sag too because you missed your chance.
    Someone like young Elijah is good to have around. He keeps you motivated and interested, and, best of all, challenged, for what is life without a challenge now and then?
    Great Post, Janet. Thank you.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Indeed, Ian. If I get many more of these additional lessons to be learned, I’ll have to reconsider that ebook. Keep ’em coming.

      I’ve come to a whole new appreciation of the word, “sometimes.” Absolutes wear me down. Love those challenges, love the energy of the grandkids, and also love the quiet spaces and times when I sit and stare. It’s all part of the mix, is it not.

      • Ian Mathie
        | Reply

        The great advantage of grandkids is that you can give ’em back when you’ve had enough. With kids you have to wait for them to grow up and leave. 🙂

  7. […] look like a path at all. #8      Sometimes, we just have to stop and listen. #7      Sometimes, we just have to stop and stare at the view. #6      Sometimes, it’s nice to have a reminder that we’re going in the right […]

  8. […] #7     Sometimes, we just have to stop and stare at the view. […]

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