At the beginning of a journey, it can be so encouraging to notice your changed perspective. This photograph is from the early stages of my father and I’s twelve hour, twelve mile hike up, across, and down a swath of the Yosemite Valley. I captured this image with fresh legs, an unbowed back, and nervous anticipation in my stomach. Only on the trail for a short time, I was already appreciating how changed my vantage point of the Valley had become. The trees that had once towered high above me now appeared diminutive, like tall blades of grass in a glade. But the mighty walls of the Valley still loomed overhead, ominous and daunting.
We had merely begun our adventure, but I couldn’t help but appreciate the progress we had already made.
I recently began a new academic endeavor. I haven’t accomplished anything of substance, and yet, I can’t help but pause to appreciate the chance in perspective. In a few short weeks, I have already begun to feel the wheels of change turning inside me. Like the trees in Yosemite, those preliminary tasks that once seemed oh so onerous, now lay beneath me, conquered. And yet, like the tower walls of rock that lay above us on the trail, I know that challenges ahead will materialize with vivid clarity soon enough.
Even though we hadn’t hiked very far, I appreciated the change in vantage point that spot in the trial afforded me. Now, only two months later, my journey is quite different, but I still feel the desire to pause and appreciate the change in perspective.