Many years ago my ma gave me a framed picture of this tree with an inspirational Thoreau quote that read, "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." It's a picture that has always been with me (back and forth to school in Toronto and carefully packed away for life's many moves) and that has always grounded and inspired me. Blinded by its far away beauty, I never bothered to read the back of the frame to find out where it was taken. Well, this summer, just before I went on a vacation to Utah it occurred to me that the pictures of red Navajo sandstone that I had seen while planning our trip reminded me of the picture. With a new found interest for the picture's origin, I flipped it over and guess what? The picture was taken in Bryce Canyon, the first stop on our trip.
Long story short, we decided to go looking for the tree (was it still standing? was it tucked away in a remote side canyon?). We knew the picture was taken on a trail called "Navajo Loop," and after a beautiful afternoon of hiking in the sun and the rain, the canyon walls started to get familiar. Finally, in the pouring rain, we turned a corner and there it was...my tree. Wow. Walked up to it and gave it a big hug. I felt such gratitude for that old beauty and the role it had played (and continues to play) in realizing my own dreams.
Here's to following dreams and hugging trees.