Three years ago, I traveled virtually to outer space. The star nurseries and spectacular views from the Hubble Telescope grabbed me. The immenseness of the Endeavour was impossible to imagine without seeing it. Endeavour 2And I appreciated the engineering and creativity that went into the design of the shuttles and even the small space capsules that started off the US space program.

Today’s visit to the California Science Center captivated me. I visited the Endeavour and again marveled at the intricate tiles and bolts. Endeavour 04262016Wide-eyed, I watched the video of the lift-off. The IMAX of various shuttle missions and man’s accomplishments in space are astounding.

But what really bore into my soul today were the scenes from right here on earth. We watched the IMAX of the National Parks. Happy Anniversary National Park Service! Through Conrad’s eyes and the eyes of his team we toured the larger parks. On earth we have incredible natural wonders: geysers at Yellowstone, majestic redwoods, and the Grand Tetons. How did the geysers form? Where does the Colorado River get its incredible power from? It’s a power that bore through solid rock!

My soul soared with the climbers’ accomplishments. I held my breath as the new climber scaled the mountain and made it. I flew over the deep blue lakes and ice-capped mountains marveling at the creations. I smiled at the memory of trying to negotiate rapids—albeit smaller than the Colorado River—and recalling that we portaged over the dangerous parts.

How can humans climb the solid rock surface? How can Conrad climb ice? What does it take for them to overcome their fear?

I don’t have answers. Could I scale mountains or climb ice? No. I admire the courage and confidence.

The team we saw in outer space and in the National Parks were determined, dedicated, and they practiced. Perhaps I can borrow that courage and confidence when I have to scale my own non-natural mountains, my challenges.

Determination, dedication, and practice, and start with small steps.

So don’t look for me on the mission to Mars. Or on the next trip to Mt. Everest. But I’ll be right beside you on the next earth-borne mission to climb a man-made challenge!

Let’s go!
Bird on Plane-closeup

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All photos ©Sherri Leah Henkin 2016

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