Walking, losing weight and taking photos of life in Virginia.

Archive for ‘January 21st, 2013’

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Hiking In Prince William Forest Park/ Snow In Virginia / Children Playing In The Snow

WordPress Writing Challenge: the Devil is in the Details



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Here is a photo I took last weekend during a seven mile hike in Prince William Forest Park in northern Virginia. It was near the end of our walk and the sun was lower in the sky throwing huge shadows off the trees. I was listening to an audiobook about the life of John Adams while going up and down the small hills along the path and enjoying the fresh air. It’s good exercise and on the day hikes you can be home in time for dinner.

Such a simple life. I am drawn, more and more, as time goes on to the woods and the act of walking between the trees. One, in particular, helped me out as I started to slip over some mud and went off the trail. It was only a three foot or so drop but there was a slender sapling there that I grabbed and held. It bent under the weight but did not snap and then sent me back in the direction of the foot path.

It was so good seeing bright sunlight after a week of almost constant rain here in Virginia. I have heard rumors that later this week it will turn very cold again and we may have more snow. How do you feel about weather reports that suggest it will snow soon? Is there something inside that responds with delight? Or do you only think about the problems associated with travel and other issues? We know how the children feel about it. Is there a child inside who remembers the good times in snow?

I hope so. I can feel it crunching under my feet. And I can hear the silence. Snow seems to do something to the quality of sound around us. Especially at night.

I have some good equipment now for dealing with the cold, slippery conditions and hope to get it together to write about these things soon. A few years ago it was difficult even walking down to the U of Richmond campus to take some photos. I was worn out in boots that were much too heavy (so was I) and outerwear that did not breathe properly. All that has changed and so I will be able to venture farther and, hopefully, take more and better photos. I am incurably optimistic about snow.

And old age, as well. I will not be old in another decade. Being in your seventies does not necessarily mean you are old. It could mean  you are much healthier and in far better shape than you are now!  I try to imagine how far I will be able to run in five or ten years and don’t spend a moment thinking about all the diseases out there. There are thousands of things that can go wrong with our bodies tomorrow! I don’t think about that. And the things that have gone wrong can get better too.  For example, my RLS is getting better. I also had a condition on my lower legs that left the skin disfigured. The doctor told me a few years ago that it couldn’t be cured and I would have to wear support hose someday. I ignored what he said.  Well, the condition is gone and did not leave a trace.

Not everything is so easy to defeat, of course. And I can hear somebody saying, “Eventually something will get you!” Really? It may get something but it won’t get me. I shed things like a dog drying himself off. Once in awhile the pooch may get into some nasty stuff and it will take awhile for him to get clean. But he will do it. And I will too!

Getting older and retiring from the daily grind is a vast opportunity to get rid of so many things and go back to the world we experienced as a child. But not the toys! Don’t get rid of them! Not the hiking equipment I hope to write about soon! But now it is almost time to go play in the snow! I hear the kids outside laughing and the sound of steel runners going down the hill. And it hasn’t even started snowing yet! But it is peaceful, the sun has gone down and I can feel the cold on the window pane.

Perhaps I am there, already.  And you?

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