By Simon Ambit
As the marching band trumpeted by and little kids sprang back and forth from the curb to gather the scattered candy, my wife and I stood on the sidewalk and watched as the various sites of the Wellington City Pioneer Days parade strolled by. The attractions ranged from OHVs to firetrucks and from restored tractors to elaborately decorated trailer floats.
One of the groups stuck out to me because it seemed so fitting for the timing of this week and the setting of the Pioneer Days festivities. This was a group of teenage youth, all dressed in mid-1800s style clothing, with handcarts in tow. The parade announcer pointed out that earlier in the week, the kids completed a four-day long trek up and around Ferron Mountain. The journey clocked in over 25 miles and the boys and girls pulled their personal belongings in the handcarts the entire trip.
I was impressed to learn that this group of over 50 teenagers left electronics behind to go on this adventure. Each evening after the daily walking, the group would eat dinner, play pioneer games together and enjoy other activities such as square dancing, storytelling and glow stick games. Each night was spent alongside the trail in tents or tree slung hammocks.
As I saw this group walking happily down the road, I couldn’t help but think of all those early settlers and pioneers who came to Utah in just the same manner, walking away from everything they knew and yet toward everything they hoped for. Not knowing quite what to expect, they had the weight of all they owned in their wagon or handcart and the burden of the reality resting very heavy upon their shoulders and undoubtedly upon their souls at times.
Yet they looked forward and onward they came, with hope in the heart and with faith in their footsteps. Knowing that, with all that lie behind and all that lie ahead, the best was yet to come.
Like many of you native to this area, I had ancestors make that same journey westward, some traveling over 1,500 miles to come here. Others coming first by boat to America, then making the same journey. We shall forever be grateful they did, for in a way, are we not all pioneers?
Though we don’t pull handcarts nor drive oxen down the trail… do we not all move forward to some type of end goal or destination? We all journey toward our future desires and dreams, not knowing what we might encounter or stand to lose along the way. Yet, one faithful step at a time onward and forward we continue to push and strive. I am thankful for Pioneer Days and all that it stands for. I am thankful for the ancestral and modern day pioneers. Have a great 24th of July week; life in our little wide spot in the trail is a great place to be!