I’ve been trying to keep this blog talking about training, writing, and geek things, but sometimes I’m struck by something off topic and rather random that I want to write. This post is on of them.
I spent three days of last week with a large group of teenagers as they hiked and pushed hand carts with their gear. No, this wasn’t some sort of punishment and all came willingly (though some took prodding from their parents). This was a sort of re-enactment of the Mormon handcart pioneers journey across the plains some 150 or so years ago.
I was part of the support staff, just there to help and run some activities. I didn’t have to go through the strain and struggle that the youth did as they push and pulled their carts up the hills. I was amazed by their strength and energy. They seems to conquer the hills by running up them. There was no dropping out, no quitting, they where going to make it to the end.
One the first day of the trek, after finishing an activity, I had to hike on my own for a time to catch up with the group. I had a vague idea where I was going, but I wasn’t completely sure and had never been on this trail before. As I glanced on the trail for some sort of landmark or footprints, I saw the wagon ruts left by the hand carts. These told me I was on the right path and going the right direction.
It occurred to me later that my ancestors left behind “wagon ruts” for me to follow to. I have American pioneer (Mormon and non) ancestors on both sides of my family. I have ancestors that came to the US via boat and others that journeyed to the western US in wagons. They all make these journeys to find a better life for themselves and eventually their children. I am impressed by their perseverance and strength. Their courage and fortitude to strive for the better and finish the journey, pushes me to move forward and make my life better, along with the lives of those around me.
I am named after one of these pioneers and I’ve always felt that I had to live up to her name. Now, I know I can follow her example too. I am honored to have their “wagon ruts” to follow.