Make no small plans. Dream no small dreams.


I've just returned from a beautiful trip to Palomar Mountain in southern California. I took my daughter and her Girl Scout troop to the Palomar Observatory and camped out to do some stargazing and have some Girl Scout fun in the outdoors, and had been looking forward to the trip for months since the date was set.

I love the smell of campfires, and spending time with my daughter. I love that I have made the choice to invest in my daughter's growth as a friend, leader, and lover of the outdoors.

But the joy of this weekend came at a cost because I lost a friend the week before and had to miss the memorial celebration of her life. My friend, Michelle, was only in her late twenties, and had been fighting metastatic breast cancer for 18 months. She knew something was wrong long before that, but doctors insisted that she was too young to be tested, until it was too late.

While battling cancer, Michelle continued to live an incredibly active life of snowboarding, surfing, and other outdoor activities. She inspired me so deeply, and I knew that if I had to miss a memorial celebration that I really needed to help process some of the loss I feel, I knew that getting outdoors to hike and camp and celebrate life with my daughter was something that she would support whole-heartedly.

I intended to set aside time for a mountaintop meditation for myself, just to get quiet and connect with so many emotions that I'm carrying around since Michelle died. That didn't happen. 

But during our visit to the Observatory, George Hale's quote was right there in front of me to fill my heart and mind with inspiration that connected me to Michelle's love of life, to my chosen role as a mother and guide, and to my own sense of what a purposeful life means:

"Make no small plans. Dream no small dreams."

Even in the chaos of a Girl Scout campout, there is clarity, purpose, and so much inspiration. Even if you can't get to a mountaintop today, make time to sit down, breathe deeply, inspire yourself, and start writing down those dreams.