Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of sitting on a log in the middle of Rocky Mountain National Park with nothing in particular to do. My family was on a hike that was more grueling than I chose to do, resulting in my occupying space on this log.
Throughout our lives we tag ourselves and sometimes get tagged with labels. Mine have been wife, mother, sister, friend, confidant, colleague, manager, etc., etc. Much to my surprise, sitting on this log at a crossroad voided all labels, leaving me with the liberating sensation of being whatever it was I chose for the moment.
When an older couple approached, the gentleman appeared to be struggling with the altitude and the challenging hike. We spoke, I suggested that he be careful to hydrate in order to combat effects of altitude and offered him my walking stick for the bottom half of his journey.
A trio approached and I watched them shooting pictures and enjoying each other. I called out, “Having fun?” They all smiled broadly, thanked me for asking and wished me a beautiful day. So far, I’ve been a tour guide, altitude consultant and tourism representative, without thinking about any of it.
My multi-function role continued. I became a source of information about Chicago, someone with an opinion on current politics and an adviser on Rocky Mountain National Park. Throughout all this, I delivered a smile, a wish for easy journeys and encouragement about returning to the trail head.
And so it seems, a lesson emerges. When we stop operating within our labels and job descriptions, we are liberated and can be all things or anyone to all those who invite us into their worlds. The duration of that stay can be long or short, but is always an opportunity. Shalom.