Twenty-four years ago, my husband and I visited Yellowstone on our honeymoon. It was on fire. I remember hoping desperately that it wasn’t a metaphor for the marriage. In an attempt to salvage the trip, we drove all the way to Glacier National Park. It promptly burst into flame – but not before we experienced the breathtaking drive along Going to the Sun Road.
In the years that have passed, I’ve thought about that view from the top of the world, how it inspired me to believe that great things were possible. So it was with much anticipation that I approached the trip this year with our three kids in tow. After all, we’re all looking to regain that sense of inspiration, right? The one where anything feels possible?
Well, it was just as inspirational, but I learned a few things.
- Inspiration is a lot scarier when you have other people along for the ride. It’s one thing to stand at the edge of a 6000-foot drop. It’s another thing to watch your kids do it.
- It’s amazing how unfamiliar it all looks. I could recall how I felt on my first visit but I couldn’t easily recall the detail. I had to rediscover it.
- Revisiting the past brings with it certain nostalgia for the wondrous things you thought would happen, but didn’t – and also brings an experience of all the wondrous things that happened that you could never have imagined.
- No one else will experience it in the same way you do. And that’s OK.
Inspiration may not feel the same the second time around, but if you can’t bring your knowledge and a more mature perspective to it, what’s the point of looking back? So sleep well. Vision and inspiration matter, but it’s fine for it to evolve.
What inspires you? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org – if I use them, I’ll feature your business.