By Brian Nadon
In the late 90s, I was on a hiking trip in Jasper Basin in Alberta. The trip did not get off to a good start. Upon getting off the bus, and searching for a guide to help transport our gear, myself and two friends, we immediately ran into the first of many issues. The guide we found was overpriced, the vehicle they were using was falling apart, and the trailer they had was in bad shape. There wasn’t much use in complaining.
Because what’s the alternative? Let it ruin the trip? Yell at the guide? Fix the trailer with your anger? In fact, part of the appeal of the outdoors lifestyle is that it’s a challenge and that it tests us in these little ways. Camping and hiking, are both great metaphors and great training for the difficulties of life.
Bad luck continued on the trip, with mishap after mishap. The trailer got stuck more than once, the vehicle was a constant uphill struggle, and the weather was freezing. At one point, it looked like the weather was set to take an even more serious turn. I remember turning to my friend and saying casually that I would “rather it didn’t storm (polite way to say, WTF.” My friend, stopped his humming, looked at me and said, “We’re not having any luck on this trip,” then cheerfully resumed humming.
The truth is, we don’t get much luck in life either. All of us are pulled along by Fate as well as by Fortune. Sometimes they line up with what we want, sometimes they don’t.
That’s why we have to embrace life for what it has to offer and accept the circumstances we cannot control.
Bland indifference is a start, but cheerful humming is even better.