At the end of Summer ’17, Kate, the boys and I packed up the family car and headed west for a long trip. We had pulled the boys out of school (something they want again right now!) for an adventure spanning most of the Western states between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
After a few fun stops along the way, we found ourselves in Jackson Hole, WY, and floating down the Snake River, paddles in hand.
The Snake is one of the west’s great rivers. Starting not far from Jackson Hole and dumping into the Columbia before hitting the Pacific, the Snake travels 1078 miles and drops 8500 feet from the source to the mouth
Our one-and-a-half-hour trip on the river was amazing – stunning views, great rapids and (very) refreshing water. Looking up the canyon walls, it was easy to see the highwater line from earlier in the spring – 14 feet above us!
The Power of Snowflakes and Rain Drops
Snowflakes are tiny things, each famously different from the rest. Individually, they don’t take up a lot of room. And, they are so fragile. Put your hand out, catch one, and you’ll see it disappear in seconds.
Yet, you get them together…. In fact, close to 700 inches of the stuff had fallen around the source basin for the Snake leading to one of the most incredible melts in recent memory. The trip we enjoyed in September took just half the time three months earlier due to all the water.
We are witnessing the power of collected water right now in the Carolinas. Some forecasters project that Hurricane Florence will drop 10 trillion gallons of water on the ground over the next few days. We are all praying our friends get through the onslaught safely.
Drips become torrents. Rain drops collect, rush down mountains. These collected torrents move boulders, form rivers that cut mountainsides.
Your reactions, your attitude, your thoughts are the same way.
The Collection of Attitude
Each and every moment, you get to choose how you act and react. Only you have control of that little (and sometimes very loud) voice inside your head. You can also choose the emotions you wear. Remember – most of your intent is communicated by your body, what your eyes, face and posture broadcast.
We talk about this a lot at camp. Having had the opportunity to observe thousands of kids and staff over the years both in and out of camp, I’ve come to the conclusion: we are better a choosing our attitude at camp than anywhere else.
This happens for a number of reasons, I think. First, we talk about it a lot. It seems we must be reminded of this power we have over our attitude. At camp, it’s pretty constant through those around you and the messages you get. Secondly, there are no other or at least very few concerns. You simply get to be in the present. Lastly, well… it’s just a lot of fun.
An author named Roy Bennett wrote: “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
It’s a great reminder and one I hope you’ll remember in the weeks and months ahead as move through the school year and back towards camp. Your attitude, that which you show all of those around you on a moment to moment, drip by drip, is your gift to them… and to yourself.
Why choose to make that gift anything but great?
Have a fantastic week!