The year of the icicle

I visited a hidden gem in Southern Indiana this past weekend. Hemlock Cliffs. A box canyon, nestled in the rolling hills of the Hoosier National Forrest. As I began down the snowy path into the canyon, on what was the last day of 2012, I asked myself what I had been doing the past 12 months. What were my accomplishments? What were my failures? Where was I headed? Where had I been? And as I looked up at the 200 ft. sandstone cliffs, I began to ask them the same questions? When did they reflect on their accomplishments? How did they measure their successes? Climbing on the backs of these gentle giants, as they gracefully dangled the cold, rigid fingers of icicles, I couldn't help but start to feel pretty insignificant. I realized that my expected lifetime isn't even a blip on the map of these gigantic cliffs and trees and streams. I in fact, had more in common with the quickly melting icicles. Here one day and gone the next. A depressing thought, no doubt, but then I began to notice how beautifully unique each icicle was. How brilliantly structured its fragile connection to the cliff side was. Then, I took several steps back and could see hundreds of them at once. At that point I started to understand the silent beauty of these crystal sculptures. Even though they are not here forever, like the cliffside, they majestically hydrate the forrest below during the cold harsh winter. And they do so in such glorious fashion. I then began to realize it was okay to be the icicle and not the cliff. It was okay to be here only a short time, as long as we spend that time doing something beautiful, and meaningful. Something that benefits others. So here's to 2013. The year of the icicle.

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