OK, the last post was the ‘Gulp Line’. You get sucked into those feeling what with the body beginning to bark, the more than once a year medical evaluations and the rap with aging friends. A conversation that gets around to the latest pains, medical interventions and sensory losses. Tougher to hear is who among us has joined the ranks of the walking wounded and have gone to the other side.
Sarah gave me a valentine gift that’s laughable and I prize. A ceramic sculpture that perfectly depicts my skinny arse and reminds me to quit the ‘Whine line’ any time the monkey, the aging nemesis, claws my back.
We’re all mortal; we waste. We geezers have our handicaps. Mine is a knee that’s bone on bone, my head flops on a neck that’s degenerating. I use pissing straws and there’s a valve on my ticker that’s luuuuupaaaaduuuuupiiiing. But you keep doin’ the love adventures best you can. Bandage up, get your ass out there and move the blood and air through the bod and brain.
My daughter Nina and her bud Kevin, owner of a local gym, rammed me through a work-out three times a week this winter designed to put some meat on my bones and be able to balance on either leg like a ballerina, weights in hand or overhead. There was no mercy from the trainers as they prodded my scarecrow frame. I did grow some new muscle, which will empower me to hoist packs every day upon the backs of our llamas as we trail through home country. And, at days end, I’ll be able to dance around the campfire hootin’ to the stars without pitching on my face.
But I ain’t a gym rat. The much stronger call of a fresh snowfall to ski or the wild bloom of spring while hiking gets me outta’ the house before dawn to receive the blessing. This winter there was lostsa’ white glory to track on the slope and cross-country trail. As the snowpack recedes from the Valley, we’ve been hiking the hills below Mt. Baldy. The succession of wild blossoms have been awesome.
Indeed, through the years, the particular physical and mental challenges of self-powered wilderness travel have been the best trainer for me. Even more valuable is the peace and spiritual harmony I experience in Nature’s accord, beauty and wonder. For Sarah and me, escape to the wild trail is always healing, especially now with so much disharmony and noise in the human family.