It is  Tuesday evening. Just after work. My husband stumbles upstairs and doesn’t look nearly as excited as he should be considering it is date night and we have a fun hike planned for the evening.

“Um… the babysitter cancelled.”

In the world of parenting, during an especially hard week, the news of a babysitter canceling can be quite the tragedy. And for us it was.  It seemed our golden sunset wasn’t going to be so golden tonight.

golden hike

I brushed a few meaningless tears aside and heading into the kitchen to start dinner. A dinner I hadn’t planned on making. Then Chris said, “Hold on. You don’t have to go so far as to start dinner. KIDS! Get your hiking shoes on; you are coming along and we leave in five minutes!”

That was how our golden hike began. Tired. Emotional. Frenzied. And towing along three no-so-excited kids who were much more interested in having a movie night with a babysitter than being dragged on some adventure with their parents.

We started up Mill B North trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon, legs complaining about the ascent. And the sun began to dip low in the sky, casting everything in that golden light all photographers treasure as though it were real gold.

It painted the sky a cobalt blue and maple-hillsides yellow and orange. And it painted our family new. Our rushing turned to peace. Our battling turned to unity. I felt my shoulders relax and my soul breath deep. That is when I paused to see my kids disappearing up the ridge, following their fearless leader of a dad. I snapped this photo before they disappeared completely.

We all make choices. Do we settle under the debris of life or adapt and overcome? Do we sit at home or go in hope of that golden light upon a mountainside?

I almost settled. I almost missed that sunset. But I am very glad I didn’t.

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~ Michael Althsuler

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