I saw a beautiful photo recently of our spectacular Grand Canyon. The photo reminded me of the hike my dad, several other members of our family, and I took many years ago to the Havasupai Falls, which leads to the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.

I think Dad was 70 when we made that trip.  Seventy is now the next stop on my life journey, if we count by tens as my great-niece Keira and great-nephew Rory have learned to do.  The hike is more than 10 miles each way, with a vertical drop into the canyon of 2,400 feet, almost half a mile.  (That feels longer than it sounds!)  It was a challenge for all of us.  But it was so good to spend that time together.

That adventure is one of my treasured memories.  I am so grateful that I had time with my dad – individual times and the aggregate time afforded by his long life.  He lived to be 92 and was 30 when I was born.  There was never any question in my mind that he loved me and I loved him.  But that love grew through six decades of our shared lives, through mistakes and meliorations, misunderstandings and better understandings of each other; through a few hurts, healing, and many happy times.

Remembering that Havasupai hike and seeing the time-sculpted beauty of the Grand Canyon, a thought has stayed with me: it takes time and effort to go deep.  The superficial must be worn away.  It took millions of years for the Colorado River to carve its way down through the mountain rock that forms the Canyon’s sides we see today.  It often takes years of a human life to find and form lasting, loving relationships that continue to deepen over time.  Our stone of ego, of triviality, must be worked through.  It can take decades to learn and practice a skill, to develop a body of knowledge and a body of work.  Those who practice meditation or other spiritual disciplines seem to take years to become masters – and never finish.

It takes a lifetime to ask profound questions; to learn about and accept oneself, others, and how we fit – or don’t fit – into the world.  A lifetime to appreciate all the beauty there is, to be in awe of the mysteries and wonders around us, to share the kindness and compassion that is possible.

All we have, in the end, is time and what we do with it.  I want to use my time to go deep in all the ways that matter.I think Dad was 70 when we made that trip.  Seventy is now the next stop on my life journey, if we count by tens as my great-niece Keira and great-nephew Rory have learned to do.  The hike is more than 10 miles each way, with a vertical drop into the canyon of 2,400 feet, almost half a mile.  (That feels longer than it sounds!)  It was a challenge for all of us.  But it was so good to spend that time together.

That adventure is one of my treasured memories.  I am so grateful that I had time with my dad – individual times and the aggregate time afforded by his long life.  He lived to be 92 and was 30 when I was born.  There was never any question in my mind that he loved me and I loved him.  But that love grew through six decades of our shared lives, through mistakes and meliorations, misunderstandings and better understandings of each other; through a few hurts, healing, and many happy times.

Remembering that Havasupai hike and seeing the time-sculpted beauty of the Grand Canyon, a thought has stayed with me: it takes time and effort to go deep.  The superficial must be worn away.  It took millions of years for the Colorado River to carve its way down through the mountain rock that forms the Canyon’s sides we see today.  It often takes years of a human life to find and form lasting, loving relationships that continue to deepen over time.  Our stone of ego, of triviality, must be worked through.  It can take decades to learn and practice a skill, to develop a body of knowledge and a body of work.  Those who practice meditation or other spiritual disciplines seem to take years to become masters – and never finish.

It takes a lifetime to ask profound questions; to learn about and accept oneself, others, and how we fit – or don’t fit – into the world.  A lifetime to appreciate all the beauty there is, to be in awe of the mysteries and wonders around us, to share the kindness and compassion that is possible.

All we have, in the end, is time and what we do with it.  I want to use my time to go deep in all the ways that matter.I think Dad was 70 when we made that trip.  Seventy is now the next stop on my life journey, if we count by tens as my great-niece Keira and great-nephew Rory have learned to do.  The hike is more than 10 miles each way, with a vertical drop into the canyon of 2,400 feet, almost half a mile.  (That feels longer than it sounds!)  It was a challenge for all of us.  But it was so good to spend that time together.

That adventure is one of my treasured memories.  I am so grateful that I had time with my dad – individual times and the aggregate time afforded by his long life.  He lived to be 92 and was 30 when I was born.  There was never any question in my mind that he loved me and I loved him.  But that love grew through six decades of our shared lives, through mistakes and meliorations, misunderstandings and better understandings of each other; through a few hurts, healing, and many happy times.

Remembering that Havasupai hike and seeing the time-sculpted beauty of the Grand Canyon, a thought has stayed with me: it takes time and effort to go deep.  The superficial must be worn away.  It took millions of years for the Colorado River to carve its way down through the mountain rock that forms the Canyon’s sides we see today.  It often takes years of a human life to find and form lasting, loving relationships that continue to deepen over time.  Our stone of ego, of triviality, must be worked through.  It can take decades to learn and practice a skill, to develop a body of knowledge and a body of work.  Those who practice meditation or other spiritual disciplines seem to take years to become masters – and never finish.

It takes a lifetime to ask profound questions; to learn about and accept oneself, others, and how we fit – or don’t fit – into the world.  A lifetime to appreciate all the beauty there is, to be in awe of the mysteries and wonders around us, to share the kindness and compassion that is possible.

All we have, in the end, is time and what we do with it.  I want to use my time to go deep in all the ways that matter.