Lessons Learned

My trip to Maui was multi-layered.  Time with the children.  Seeing the sights.  Relaxing in the warm sunshine.

The unexpected layer was discovering myself not weak and old.  I am not beyond pushing physical limits.  I hiked two five mile trails.  One was challenging.  The other was not for the faint of heart.

The ridge hike in the rain and the mud is the one of which I am most proud.  I was slow.  But, my son was absolutely patient and encouraging.  He guided my steps and we joked along the way.  What a kind person he is!  I did the hike without incident and without excess pain and fatigue during or afterward.

I didn’t and perhaps still don’t appreciate how hard I was rolled at Big Beach.  I had some bruises I didn’t realize I had gotten until the places turned black and blue.  It took days for all the sand to come out of my ears.  I still have sand inside the lining of my swimsuit.  I will have to work on getting it out when my package arrives in the mail. (I packed up extra clothes, shoes and my souvenirs in a box and am letting the mail lady bring it to me rather than having to check a bag at the airport.) I didn’t panic when tumbling under the wave.  I just relaxed and waited for my head to come up and my feet go down.  I didn’t feel any pain.

Again, I marveled at my endurance traveling home.  I awoke especially early in the morning.  I was unable to sleep at all on the plane during the overnight flight I took late that evening.  I was up about thirty six hours.  I wasn’t really exhausted feeling.  I was sleepy by the time I had my bath of course.  That is usual for me.  But, I did not feel horrible as I expected.

Those long hikes didn’t hurt my feet.  A good pair of shoes made the difference.  My feet often hurt in the morning just from an ordinary day at work where I sit most of the day.  I do not like wearing athletic shoes.  But, I did buy two new pairs of casual work shoes last week and had a pedicure to take better care of my poorly treated appendages.  They deserve the best care as reward for taking me along marvelous paths.

I discovered I am more physically durable than I believed.  I did more and suffered effects less than I ever imagined possible.  This body, even at this moment, has a spot or two of sharp pain and a spot or two aching just it has these many years. Nevertheless, I am pleasantly recalling my adventures in the middle of the wild blue Pacific.  My body didn’t ache and my mind didn’t race.  I longed only for certain amber eyes as the days blended into each other.

How does one live on island time here at home?  How does one live physically challenging adventures here at home?  How does one overcome the compulsion to push against the waves and get rolled rather than bobbing and floating, laughing and loving through the tumultuous days?  There is a time to dive into the waves and a time to paddle along the stream.  There is also a time to drift and notice the color of life.  The color of my life is aquamarine.  What color is yours?

 

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Adventure

I had a lovely opportunity to chat with one of my favorite people in the world.  My cousin is a few years younger than me.  But, he and I are close enough to have had some adventures when we were children.  Distant and hazy memories of times at our grandparents big house here in East Texas.  Blurred flashes of moments in time at his parents big Rock Church in the cedar brakes on the Paluxy River.  Our older cousin sat with us a moment as well sharing a glimpse back.  The event was to celebrate his mother’s 80th birthday.  She is sister to my father who passed away several years ago.

Driving home from the short afternoon affair held in a community event center, I wondered what was missing in these days.

Adventure.  So much of my time with my family and friends is spent simply gathering for a short meal or brief gathering.  Once upon a time, our families gathered in smaller or larger number to fish, hunt, camp, hike, swim.  Play.  Work.  Celebrate.

I think that is why my 48th birthday last year was so wonderful.  The children, he and I had adventures on the river and at the deer camp.  The trip to Oahu to visit with my son was special because it was an adventure with him.  The trips I take with my daughter to the beach are special because they are adventures with her.  The time I spend with him at the lease or on the boat are special because I never know what might happen next.  Always there are adventures with him.

All adventures don’t have to encompass a long trip or exotic location.  Those kind are wonderful, of course.  But, my thoughts and dreams tend to flow toward any kind of diversion. Whether croquet and horseshoes in the backyard; coon hunting in the woods after dark; floating in the cold clear river waters; sitting around a campfire reflecting on just which way that deer came out and turned before the shot was taken;  sitting silent and still for 24 minutes waiting for does to move away from the food plot unalarmed two months before the season starts;  watching all types of crazy moves on tractors and ATVs; riding along flooded roads and through wildfire smoke filled trails just to see and know;  checking hog traps after dark; watching him chasing hogs through the woods or across the cow pasture shooting at them; being married to him.

Life with him is an adventure.  It takes much of my energy and attention.  I love all of it.  Even when the fish don’t bite my hook and the deer wind me and the red bugs cover me and the wolf spiders try to murder me and the mosquitos bleed me dry.

I would like more adventures with my cousins.  But, this world has changed.  We have changed.  Things have changed.  I must make a new way.  Figure out a new plan.  Try a new adventure.  I will keep following my husband to the ends of the earth or the end of the dirt road.  But, I want to make time for some old time adventure buddies, too.  I miss them.  The kids we were.  The simple things cousins did.  Time together.  Period.  Time together.

Closer to now.  My adventure partners as they looked a little over twenty years ago:

 

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Magical days of childhood, who are these grown-ups I am talking to?  The names are the same.  The faces are oddly familiar.  But, who are they?  I loved the children they were so dearly.  I wish my memory was not so weak.  I would love to recall like it was yesterday, what we said, where we went, how it finished up in the evening.  I will, though, be content with my flashes of sight.  Like old grainy photos of the forgotten past, my mind flashes the sight of our past times on the screen of memory.  Adventures.