As you might imagine, adding the responsibilities of campaigning for the MD5 endorsement to run for International Director on top of the ongoing duties associated with membership in a community Lions Club has made for some careful scheduling to keep family, faith, work, and Lion responsibilities in balance. So, when the opportunity came to spend the Easter holiday visiting our daughter and her family in Texas, we took advantage and traveled to Austin for a long weekend. When we arrived, we experienced warm weather and a great break from what has been a cold winter in the upper Plains. We found the Texas bluebonnets painting the fields and our grandsons kept us looking at the world through young eyes filled with amazement and a sense of adventure. What fun we had!
One day, we visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to experience the beauty of the Texas hill country near Austin. The former First Lady was a champion of beautifying America and her legacy lives on in the beautifully kept Wildflower Center. Walking among the beautiful flowers and vegetation native to Texas, we found time to talk and think about family and the things that are important to us.
On Sunday afternoon, we decided to visit Enchanted Rock State Park, North and West of Austin. As we neared the park, we could see the focal point clearly. Enchanted Rock rises out the of ground and climbers follow trails virtually straight up the side of the rock. Step by step, we decided to make our way to the top–sometimes on a path, sometimes not–along with our grandsons and their parents.
The symbolism of the rock for native peoples as well as visitors did not go unnoticed. The words of Matt Twyman, an Enchanged Rock visitor and climber described what I felt as we walked up the rock to the summit. His words were written on a plaque at the foot of the rock: “My heart feels lighter, my mind feels calmer and my senses feel tuned whenever I see that giant pink rock on the horizon. No matter how I choose to spend my time among the enchanted rocks of the park I always leave feeling better than when I arrived.”
There were times when one or both of our grandsons needed a short break from the hiking. That’s when a “piggy back ride” was in order and I happily carried them for awhile. Kathy and I found some time for ourselves and we resolved that no matter how busy our lives become, spending quality time with our daughter’s family in Texas and with our son in New York will always be a priority for us because through them we are renewed and refreshed.
One of those quality times came when my daughter and I went for a 10 mile run early Saturday morning. If you have been following my blog over these past months, we are just three weeks away from the Fargo Marathon and I am training for the half marathon race. The cool morning air, the bright sun, and the happy conversation made me feel like I could run any race and win. As the election for MD5 endorsement approaches, it’s good to know that we are near the finish line!
I can’t wait to get started! Watertown, here we come!
–Lion Robert Littlefield