Weary in the Journey

As I climbed the steps, my charming two year old gave me a life lesson that for whatever reason I forget constantly. “One more step.”

Let me give some context to this. I took my boys up to one of my favorite places on the planet, Paradise on Mt. Rainier. The weather was less than ideal, and 5 humans in my tiny little sedan for two hours can be challenging. They did alright, but were acting like 4 boys cramped together in a tiny car. Nevertheless we made it without incident and all stood in awe of the part of the mountain we could see. When we got out of the car, it was snowing. Good planning dad. I look at my boys and realize, I haven’t packed gloves, hats, or diapers. Being my 7 self, I slap on my happy positive face and we head into the visitors center where the boys are enamored with EVERYTHING. All my worry drifts away as I can see their enthusiasm, excitement, and engagement with the exhibits. We grab a bit of food, and then head outside. Alta Vista trail or the falls? One is flat, one is not. We choose wisely. The walk to the falls is short, .5 miles. Now comes the tricky part. The descent down to the viewing point is quite steep and there’s some ice on the ground. But again, we make it with no incidents and we take in the beauty of this place. I’m worried about the short walk back up, it’s steep, and a bit treacherous for a two year olds little legs. Nevertheless, away we go! Now comes the lesson. As we begin our ascent, I’ve got the three oldest in front of me in case one falls, and I’m holding the youngest by the hand. We take our first steps, and he begins to call out, “one more step” on every single step. At first it was so cute, but then, the reality of what he was saying sunk in. He was motivating himself. He wasn’t even talking to me, or really loud enough for anyone to hear. He just kept saying it to himself over and over. “One more step.”

I hope the profoundness of this short phrase is not lost on you, it impacted me severely in the moment as I reflected on the last 18 months of my life. Recovery and healing have been and continue to be non linear and extremely challenging. I have failed more frequently than I care to admit, and yet, when I look down the slope that I’ve been ascending, I have come so very far. So now, in the midst of it all, I can say to myself, “one more step.” I don’t have to be on top of the summit yet. I can take just the one next step in front of me. Even if I need to pause on a step, that’s ok! When I’m ready, I can pick up my foot and take the next one. Continuing the climb. Up the mountain I go. My take away from our little jaunt to the mountain is two fold. One, its ok to stop, pause and enjoy the view. just don’t stay there. Then when you’re ready to climb again, do it at your pace, One step at a time. And when you start to get weary, and tired, and worn. Just mutter to yourself like my two year old, “one more step.”



  1. Sheri

    So cute! I love that visual.

    1. Ben Pilo

      They all are so charming. Thank you! And it consistently amazes me some of the profound wisdom they share. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Cathy

    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Ben Pilo

      Thank you! Slow and steady steps.

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