The following is a reflection on lessons from the natural world when a young boy and his brothers went on a hike to a local mountain.

There is a trail in Washington called Poo Poo Point. Yes, “Poo Poo” Point!

The name comes from the noise of the trains that used to pass below, echoing up the mountain. When we went there along with another family, my brothers and I treated everyone to a song repeating “Poo Poo Point” over and over and over again. I think some people were glad when it got a little harder and we had to keep our breath for breathing. The trail is a good 1,760 feet!

As you go up, the air changes. Suddenly it gets chilly, and I even had to zip up my jacket, put up my hood and put on my gloves. When you enter Poo Poo Point, you leave the woods and stand on a field near the top of the mountain. The view is amazing. On clear days, you can see Mount Rainier. On cloudy days, you’re surrounded by a mysterious mist.

When we finally reached the clearing, overlooking the valley, me and my bros ran around trying to catch the wind, seeing how close we could get to the edge, without actually falling off.

We stopped to talk about how cold the wind was near the top, and one mom shared something someone once told her. “The higher you go, the stronger the winds. You have to be ready.”

As I looked around, I noticed the trees on the peak were firmly rooted to the ground. I thought, “When I grow up, will I be ready for the harsh, cold wind- just like those trees? Am I building the right habits and training my thoughts so they will help me stay rooted and help my family in the future? Or will I be blown away? Well, I better get ready now. There is no time to lose!

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