53…how did I get here?

Pensive is the ‘daily prompt’ here at WordPress: the ‘ping-back’ didn’t appear to work for me last time and, per my usual, I just keep on trying.

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Turtle Pond from (near) Oak Hill in New Hampshire

“Per my usual”

I’m one of ‘those people’ who ..”things just don’t work-out for” but I’m not going to write about that. I’m going to write about my awesome day which started at a leisurely 9:30 a.m. with sunshine, coffee, my grandson and the whole day stretched out before me with no work in sight (well, after my boss texted me, we phone-tagged, and ultimately talked about the next schedule…but after that…) no work in sight. I sat with my grandson and, yes, my mind wondered because he’s four and we just hadn’t gotten to the in-deapth conversation stage at the time so,… I was wondering about life and what to do with my infrequent, wonderful-perfect-weather day off. I decided, once relieved of my child-sitting duty (I enjoy my grandson but he preferred to go with ‘daddy’ somewhere instead of going to the park and playground with ‘grandma’) that I’d go ‘for a walk’ with my two constant companions, my dogs. The walk turned into a little pleasant surprise.

I usually leave home thinking about where I am going to walk and there’s limited trails in my area but my car drove itself to a place I hadn’t even thought of and then my feet took me on a new trail I hadn’t been on. We, in no time, came to an over-look on a beautiful day; temp. about 70 dry degrees with a light breeze. The above photo on the granite ledge. I didn’t want to leave. The ‘kidz’ wandered a bit, then lied down in the shade of a stout evergreen while I tried to find a comfortable position for my back (padded rear-end but no back support) and once I found it I just sat and leaned into the moment. I let little cross my mind but the blue skies, white clouds, green hills, the bird-song and the breeze with that ‘solar-heated pine-needle’ aroma that I LOVE.

I thought: I’m 53 years old. How did I get here?

It was a weird hybrid of nostalgia/regret/contentment. I can not express how much gratitude I feel when I am in the woods/on a trail. I count my blessings: I’m healthy, my parts work, I’m independent, I’m employed, I have a home, my family is healthy, I live in a wonderful part of a free country, I have nothing to complain about. It’s great. I know that I should express my gratitude, if only in my mind, and count my blessings. I know this because I’m aware of all that is ‘wrong’ in the world and all that other people don’t have or suffer. My life isn’t perfect, far from it, but I’ve learned to think ‘globally’ or ‘outside of myself’ when I’m not being self-absorbed.

I was having “trailing thoughts” stemming from a composite of ‘things’ that I’ve noticed lately or I’ve heard about (I’m going to break these thoughts down into separate posts) but I tried to just “be” and not get immersed in one feeling or another, especially the nostalgic or regret ones, those are a downer. I made my mind focus on one particular thought trail: the AT in 2017. I thought of myself, in that moment, on the trail in some place I’ve not been yet, sitting in the sun and drying my tent/socks/shoes/clothes while resting my feet and warming up from a cold night or rainy morning and thinking about being grateful for my journey, my ability to do the AT, my opportunity to take the pilgrimage that some only dream about doing, my independence, my ‘new friends’ and my ~ what I hope will be ~ new direction in life.

I never thought I’d one day be in this place: a place where I decide, because I want to, to ‘leave it all behind’ and make a solo journey backpacking in the woods for months on end, enduring ‘hardships’ (it’s all in the perspective) and fears to get to an unknown place; not only a place geographically but also physically, emotionally (financially) and spiritually and socially. A stripping down to the raw essence of ‘who I am’ and ‘why I am here’. I can barely contain my enthusiasm to do this ‘thing’, this wonderful thing that so few do.

And those were the trailing thoughts that made my day so awesome! The decision to ‘go for a walk in the woods’ turned into 90 minutes of ‘meditation’ on where I am in life and where ~ barring any ‘unforeseen occurrence’ ~ I might be in another 30 plus years.

Okay…so something today ‘worked out’ good 🙂

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