My idea of life and yours may be completely different. When I think about what it means to be alive I picture time spent hiking through the woods, swimming in lakes, and kicking back at the end of a day looking up at the stars. Therefore my life is on hiatus. I was ready. The trails were calling my name and I had places to be. BUT until I get clearance, from my wonderful physical therapist, I am not allowed to do any “serious” hiking.
My days are filled with many things. Simple walks through the woods, going to work where I bowl or play on giant water slides, facilitating team building with awesome youth, photographing my best friends wedding, escaping mad wasps, or researching all the cat food in the world. Again, our idea of excitement may vary. As enjoyable as all of these things are they are either a brief blip on my radar or a constant in my life. And for this reason they do not satiate the desire that burns within me to hike to the top of a mountain and lay out to enjoy the wind, watch the clouds and relax knowing my house, for the night, is on my back.
The blips in my life usually hold quite a bit of excitement. I rarely walk away from them with regrets. Some blips last longer than others or are intertwined creating rapid fire blips or blips². For example my woods walks are a regular blip in my schedule. I load the car up and head to the woods, grab the Chuck-it and my dog and that’s that. Now let’s create some excitement.
Imagine it’s been a peaceful walk. The weather is perfect, there is a slight breeze rustling the trees and keeping the bugs at bay. If you close your eyes and lift your face toward the sky the rays of the sun peek through the leaves warming you ever so slightly. The latest, and greatest, blip on the radar is swimming for the pup. Star has just learned how to swim so it is a mandatory activity when water is near.
Today, swimming was perfect! We continue on our way enjoying a very lazy walk. There is no rushing today, it is a day of absolute freedom. As we finish up our hour plus meander we round the bend to the last section of trail. Star leads the way, an easy twenty feet ahead. Suddenly the woods are full of screeching! I look up to see where it is coming from to find Star frantically pawing at her face and biting at her legs and belly. Every muscle in my being wants to rush forward to help her. Instead I stand rooted in place calling her name trying to coax her to me. She can’t focus on my kind voice as the angry wasps bury themselves in her. I start yelling, demanding she come to me. My voice must cut through her pain because she starts moving in my direction. I turn and start jogging down the trail, calling over my shoulder, I glance back long enough to see her there then sprint forward trying to stay well in front of her. I usher her down into a stream where she can lay down and cool her body from the angry stings. I become all that drives me crazy. I coo and fawn over her, I use a baby voice and ask her questions she can’t answer.
We call it a day and make our way out of the woods, using a different trail of course. Upon returning home I take some time to turn the cooing into productive hands on investigation of the sting zones. It’s been half an hour and her poor face has started to swell. A little research and a vet call later Star is happily dosed up on Benadryl (1mg/lbs). She curls up on the couch and passes out all in good fashion. The swelling on her cheek and jaw have reduced dramatically by bed time and she seems none the worse for the blip in our day. But I know this blip will leave an impression on the radar.
So we sit, we tally, we appreciate what we have and look forward to what we want.