If you spend time in this space of mine, you are probably aware of my affinity for hidden treasures. You know those little bits and trinkets you chance upon as you wander and roam in your favorite outdoor playground. Relics from another place in time hinting at a story you can only imagine in your mind. Whether you discover them unexpectedly or hunt them quite intentionally, these deserts hold a treasure-trove of trinkets. During a recent bout of winter wandering, we happened to hit the mother load in the ghost town of Bodie.
At year’s end many of us are granted that blessed little break from the regular routines of daily life, an opportunity to reflect on the adventures of the past year and prepare for that to come. We celebrate our various holidays as the winter solstice ushers in another cycle of seasons. Ideally, this Winter Break should be a time for slowing down, pausing, taking time to connect with ourselves and our loved ones. Somehow, I lost a grip on that ideal and the hustle-bustle energy managed to take hold. The past few weeks have flown by and I suddenly find myself searching for my break. I start to worry that I may have missed it, having been swept up in this strong current of commotion. But then I come to this space, where it has been so quiet for all these weeks, and it is here I find solace in my sacred Winter Break.
And so we begin another year. 2013 has come and gone and the cycle begins again with a fresh start, a new outlook and a list of promises made that we fully intend to keep, but probably won’t. When embarking on a new year’s adventure it is customary to establish a good set of resolutions for oneself, a guidebook for behavior with which to navigate this new and unknown segment of our journey as we continue to strive for perfection. I resolve to do this, stop doing that, do more of the one thing and be better at the rest. I began making my own obligatory list of promises for this new year…I promise to sweat more, eat less, read more books, get more done, be more thoughtful…but as I pondered my list of potential resolutions which would be guiding me into this new year, I got distracted by the view. My thoughts wandered to the hills and my list evaporated into that big, blue expanse of sky. And so I have only this: I resolve to be ever mindful of these moments. I promise to live these moments and continue to share them with others. For these are the things that fill my heart with joy. And taking pause to look back on these moments, I realize that this year of joy will lead to another and yet another. And in the end, with these little moments of joy, I am building myself a lifetime of happiness.
It has been a quiet, relaxing week around here. With some time away from work and close to home, I fully intended to hit the household to do list and get some of those ridiculously prolonged projects completed. But there was this cloud of gratitude in the air, coloring our sunsets in such a way that chores and projects fell by the wayside and we spent the week watching the sky, taking photos and simply enjoying our moments.
When I was a child, my grandma would always send the family a big tin or two of homemade goodies for the holidays. Date pinwheels, persimmon cookies, chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate chip cookies…the contents never varied. Opening that tin always felt like saying hello to old friends and getting a big, warm hug from Grandma. The chocolate-covered pretzels were my personal favorite, but I always wondered about those persimmon cookies…what, on earth, is a persimmon?
Dirt beneath my boots, shadows on rocks, warm sun on my face, wind whispers in my ear, a crisp autumn chill and the company of my favorite friend…these things I love. This is the stuff to pause for. Breathe it in. Soak it up. In this season of gratitude we express our appreciation for the things we have, the people we love and the moments in life that fill our hearts with joy. It is moments like these, for which I am most thankful.
As autumn begins to creep toward winter, our high altitude adventures go into hibernation mode as snow begins to dust those granite ridgelines. And so begins our desert season. This time of year, our explorations take on a whole new vibe. Desert dunes displace Sierra summits, Jeffrey pines give way to Joshua trees and skycapes stretch far beyond what the eye can see.
This little blog adventure of mine is proving to be a very fun and surprisingly satisfying endeavor. I have no idea what I’m doing, to be sure. I have absolutely no computer skills. This online entity, the internet, it completely baffles me. My social skills are somewhat lacking, so staying connected…are you kidding me? But this little space, this mysterious place, my own tiny corner of this massive web, is slowly growing on me.
Today was a beautiful day. Autumn seems to be getting comfortable, blessing us with its presence and promising to stick around this time. It was a perfect day for a picnic and a delightful day out for the doggies.
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August. How did that happen? My slower summer pace is quickly picking up, the To Do lists are accumulating, my space is overrun with school supplies. It appears I have once again entered that other dimension where I continually search for the ever elusive Time. When I sat down to write about our last Sierra trip I was surprised to realize that two weeks have come and gone since we climbed Pip Squeak Spire. I could have sworn just yesterday I was lakeside, reading a book, hunting for wildflowers and watching the sunrise. Fourteen days have slipped through my grasp since I stood on that rocky ridge gazing out at a sea of granite peaks in a state of amazement. I love those moments. In those moments, Time does not elude. In fact, in those moments Time doesn’t even exist.