An Unexpected Path: Grateful

Daria Mochan Relationships

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Not too long ago, my husband said he would watch the girls so I could take the dog on a walk on a local trail on Mount Sentinel.  I procrastinated because it was a little cold and I was feeling a little lazy.  But I did, and I’m so glad.

Before kids, I would hike up the mountain several times a week perhaps hiking for 2 – 4 hours. Maybe I’d make a loop and head towards the “M” Trail or some days I’d just go up and down.   There was one thing I always enjoyed looking at on the way up the hill.  Oh, this is going to sound strange because surround by such natural beauty and what am I looking at. Chairs.  Weird, eh?

There was just something about them.  Something in the colors against the monotone and muted, tall- grass on the hill.  I often wish I could sit in them and watch the sunset over Missoula and the Blue Mountains late on a warm summer day.  I also suppose I just like the way they looked.  And every time I passed I thought, I really need to bring my camera next time.  Yes, next time.

But that was another lifetime ago and much has changed.  I don’t get the chance to hike much anymore even though sadly we live less than 1 mile to the trailhead.  Then, last year when I hiked up the mountain the chairs were GONE.

I was pretty upset.  Not really because of their absence, but because I never took any photos.  I was upset at myself because after years of thinking about it, I waited too long.  And the opportunity was forever gone.

I’m not one to procrastinate much, but I do, probably much like the average person.  I had to wonder how many other opportunities I’ve put off.  What other areas in my life do I just assume I can do later?  Plenty of course.  I was thinking about all this on the way to the trailhead that day and as I climbed the gravel road to the top I could not believe what I saw.

The chairs!

I cannot accurately describe the instant feeling of joy that overcame me.  The light was beautiful that morning and I vowed to not put it off any longer.  I would return tomorrow at the same time.

And I did.

Of course the light was not as great as the day before, the sky was overcast and I feel the photos don’t really do them justice. Presented with less than ideal circumstances I did the best I could do with my situation.

I suppose I find it sort of ironic that I’ve used these chairs as a metaphor for my life.  I feel very lucky that they returned, like I was given a second chance.  In countless ways I feel this way about life too.  I think about my family’s near-death experiences, from horrific car accidents and frantic 911 calls to our second child not breathing on her own at birth.  I am also mindful of all the unknown dangers we have natively escaped everyday and ones we may not escape in the future.  I have learned to never take anything for granted and to do the best that I can do with my situation.

So I am grateful.  For returning chairs, beautiful days, wonderful friends and family, and of course, second chances.

About the Author

Daria Mochan

Daria Mochan. Wife. Sister. Daughter. Pet Lover. Biologist. Photographer. She answers to many titles, but her favorite is Mommy. Daria spends most of her time as a mom to 2 wonderful girls, each very special in their own way. Follow Daria's blog, .

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