Turns out Dr. Suess was a profound man. Turns out he knew a lot about mountains and hiking. Turns out he knew something of adversity too. Ok, well you might not ask him for his recommendation on the best hiking boots for all terrain, but there's some great lessons to be had from his book 'Oh the places you'll go' - especially for those of us pining for the mountains at the moment.
You're the guy who'll decide where to go
We are so used to having the freedom to choose how we spend our days. Or at least our weekends and holidays. Thanks to an infamous global pandemic, many of us feel as though someone's chopped our left leg off - even though we know this is all only temporary and for good reason.
You've got the thirst for adventure
We've all seen great sights, we've had a taste of the beauty, serenity and inspiration from the tracks and trails we've hiked around the world. We've got the memories and photos to prove it.
You need wide open spaces
It's more than simply needing to get outside it's a deep yearning for that connection with nature and the simplicity of those wide open spaces.
But now you find yourself in the waiting place
And heck it's a frustrating place to be. Most of the world is in lockdown or a partial state there of. Most countries have closed their borders to international travel with no end in sight. Not only can you not travel overseas (and in some cases, travel outside of your own home or local area), but you can't plan your next hiking trip. That, well that's the worst part. We are all just waiting. Waiting to see how this all unfolds. With nothing concrete to look forward to in the meantime. No definite dates, no definite answers. That's the most difficult thing about this waiting place.
Finding the bright places again
In the meantime, you escape to these bright places in your thoughts and dreams. You can picture the mountains, waterfalls, valleys and rivers and your wide open spaces. You read about all incredible trails around the world and add a few more to your dream travel list. You hear how the earth is breathing and see how it is recovering and flourishing while we are all in the waiting place. It's a beautiful thought, and you cling to that.
Some days are hard
You dream about the world and what you will do once this is all over. But some days aren't easy. You must push on, find ways to make the best of your situation. Don't let this virus consume your mind - keep yourself safe, tighten your boot laces and take the days as they come. One step up the mountain at a time.
The doctor believes in you
You've got this. Just one step at a time!
Remember that life's a great balancing act
As you start to get back to your new normal, you'll have some of the same challenges that you left behind before, and some new ones too. Things might seem mixed up, things might really be mixed up as many people's lives and the lives of those that they love will be greatly affected by this pandemic. But remember - "you are the guy who'll decide where to go". Life's all a great balancing act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft, and never mix up your right foot with your left.
Now this is outstanding hiking advice!
The mountains aren't going anywhere!
On this point you'll have to disagree with Dr. Suess. The mountains aren't going anywhere, kid. They'll still be here in three, six, twelve months - however long it takes to get the world turning again!
Your mountain is waiting
Until that day comes, keep dreaming, keep planning and keep your balance - you'll need it on the trails.