“No man ever steps in the same river twice,
For it’s not the same river
And he’s not the same man.”
You start by driving all the way to the end of Kaluanui road, and then find the gap between multi-million dollar houses that goes up the mountain.
Gravel, rock and red dirt greet you as you step onto the path which winds up the side of the Koolau range.
This is Mariner’s Ridge – one of my favorite hiking trails on the island of O’ahu. From the summit you can see across the entire east side of the island and the ocean.
This isn’t just a story about working out and getting into nature however: hiking, and the passage of time on the trail, has taught me a lesson I’d like to share with you today.
When we first hiked the trail:
- The dirt path was about 3 feet wide.
- The forest floor was a bed of pine needles
- The trail near the summit – nothing but dirt
After a few months when we hiked the trail:
- The dirt path had eroded a little and widened
- The forest floor had little rocks and pebbles in the bed of pine needles
- The trail near the summit – little plants were growing
Still more time has passed, and the latest I have seen on the trail:
- The dirt path is a 2-3 feet deep trough, with rocks everywhere.
- The forest floor is even more rocky
- The trail near the summit – covered in greenery
The Opportunities You Have
Do you see the pattern in my observations? The trail is never the same. There is constant change – and if I was to bring you on the trail today, we would have a fantastic experience – but you will never be able to see the trail that I have seen, because that trail is gone.
This trail represents your life. Every day you are faced with dozens of little choices, opportunities hidden in between all the day-to-day moments in your life: and you have the power to choose whether to take advantage of each moment – or you can choose not to. Every opportunity is beautiful, unique – and available only to you; nobody else.
Not So Second Chances
Any chance you choose not to take however, is lost forever. The trails and chances in front of us are forever living, forever changing, and just like if I am not hiking on any single particular day, I will never see the uniqueness of the trail on that single day – so too if a moment passes you by, that same moment will never come again.
There is no second chance. There are many near second chances, but each moment is with us once, never to return again.
The trail, and the path that your life takes, waits for noone. If you choose to wait, and hike it tomorrow, it will be different – and the opportunities you would have had today will be lost forever.
Embrace and enjoy the chances you have in your life – and don’t worry about what other people day or do. Your life is yours to lead: and only you get to see your unique opportunities.