We talk about it often here at Snowbird Mountain Lodge. Sometimes it’s hidden behind words like “Snowbird’s Magic”, “The Magic of Snowbird” or even simple words like wondrous or spectacular..all of which Snowbird, this place and it’s people are. When I was younger and knew the answers to every question…I was interested in only one thing…. money…chasing the almighty dollar…how to make more, have more, spend more, be more…more..more..more…
It took a fishing trip with my father in about 1992 to knock some sense into my head. I’ve told this story often here at the Lodge. Sitting beside the river holding rods and sharing a beer. He chewing a cigar and me smoking mine he asked if I was happy…content in my life. I remember thinking that I was. Then he asked me, “how much is enough”. I laughed in my very cocksure way of always being right and told him I didn’t know because I didn’t have it yet. He laughed too for a moment…then in a very serious note told me that if that was what I was chasing then I was throwing my life away by filling a hole that could never be filled with money… or things….or stuff
“Find your passions Robert Rankin, find your passions and follow them and you’ll be rich beyond your wildest dreams. I don’t care what it is, digging ditches, selling cars, building houses or driving a taxi (knowing him, I’m not sure these were true!), but find that passion and follow where it leads. It won’t mean that you’ll have all of the money you ever want, but you’ll have enough and your life will be an amazing adventure and a gift to many.” He went on to tell me that he had known a handful of men in his life that had done just that. He named them. Counted them off on 4 fingers…and the last name on the list was his.
What brings this out today, at this time, right now before Christmas and the holidays? Is it Robbinsville, North Carolina winning the 1A State football championship and the passion that the players and community brought to the game? Is it watching my daughter, Elizabeth doing things she loves? I wish I knew, but today as I wandered the halls at the Lodge and looked at the renovations and repairs that we are doing to make the 2015 season better than ever, as I sat at my desk and read a few posts on Facebook, I realized how important my fathers words had been to me, how they resonated now and how much of an impact they’ve made on me.
“You have to do what’s in your heart. You have to do what you want, not what anyone else wants you to do. You’ll only play well when you’re ready to play. Figure out what your passion really is, then just go for it. If it’s football, great. If it’s something else, that’s fine too. Just follow your heart.”
I know that many people possess this wisdom and I’m beyond grateful that they’re sharing it and making an impact far beyond themselves. Many think that Snowbird Mountain Lodge is my passion and to a degree, you’d be right, but the truth is my passion reaches far beyond Snowbird – the place. My passion is giving…giving of myself and my place, being useful, compassionate, sharing my adventures.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think Emerson had it mostly right, the purpose of life may not to be happy, but if you do as he said and make a difference and follow your passions then it surely will be happy. At 89, my father is reaching the end of his journey. He isn’t always “all there”, forgets a lot and is generally a challenge, especially to my mom, but he gave me one of the greatest gifts of all time….passion…. a gift that has allowed me to live a truly amazing and wonderful life. I hope I am able to pass it on and pay it forward to my children, friends, guests, family, strangers on the street and YOU. Thank you Pop.
I hope you have a very magical Holiday and New Year. Blessings.
In Celebration of the Great Adventure Ahead!
Innkeeper & Adventurer