life contrast

Life Is About Contrast

Life Is About Contrast

When I was in my twenties, I spent a lot of my time in the summers at Glacier National Park in Montana. On one of my trips, I loaded up my pack and hiked several miles to a lake up in the high country on the St. Mary’s side of the park named Red Eagle Lake. My reason for hiking in was to fly fish and to try to catch bull trout which was a species that I had never fished for before.

The hike in was quite interesting. For starters, Glacier National Park has a healthy grizzly bear population and I was seeing sign on the trail of their presence the whole way in. It was a strange sensation being there in the wilderness, knowing full and well that I was no longer at the top of the food chain.

In addition, it rained. It rained the entire way up to lake, the entire time that I was fishing and the whole seven miles back to the trail-head. To say I was soaked would be an understatement. Overall, it was a long, fun, wet day, even if I did not catch any fish.

On the way out I came across a park ranger who was checking on some things and we walked the last few miles out together to keep each other company which is smart in that type of bear country. I mentioned at one point about how soaked I was, how the rain had never stopped and just how much I just wanted to be out of it.

What she said to me has remained with me since that day. “Life is all about contrasts.” Sure I was cold, wet, and tired but in no time I would be back inside, warm and dry and it wouldn’t matter any more.

Life is all about contrast and polarity. Good or bad, wet or dry, one can not exist without the other.

On that hike that day I magically discovered one of life’s secrets and a lesson that I apply every day. To fully live means to totally embrace the contrasts in life day by day. Embrace and appreciate the contrasts. You feel hungry so you eat, you are bored so you find something to read or to entertain you. If the sun is not shining on a particular day, you can always relax about it with the knowledge there will be a day where the sun will shine again. When it is too hot and sunny, you know it will rain eventually.

When things are good, appreciate them. When things are not good, be thankful for that too, with the knowing and faith that thing WILL get better.

One of my favorite writers of all time sums up contrast beautifully. In the words of John Steinbeck… “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

How do you handle the contrasts in your life?