Let me plunge into a wandering post. It is time. I’ve not been posting much because there has been so much activity in these warm days of May and June. But let’s try to catch up. First, there was the problem with hiking those extra miles and dragging oneself to the finish line. We did some boulder climbing on Old Rag Mountain a week ago and I really didn’t think I would be able to get OFF the mountain after reaching the top. But it’s all about hydration. That seems to be the problem. Someone recommending drinking extra water for several days before the hike. And then you should always read the directions regarding the number of Nunn tablets to put in your water! I was only using 50 percent of the recommended amount. Why? Because, as I have said before, I am an idiot.
But, unless you make at least one mistake PER day, you are not really trying. And so, because I’m an unrepentant and incurable optimist, we will try again. So what else is happening? Well, I am actually enjoying my hiking companions more and more these days. My heart is opening up to these folks who are trying to have adventures in the wild while they are working jobs, raising children and dealing with all the garbage our government is sending their way. Last weekend was my one year anniversary in the Central Virginia Trailblazer group and around this time I realized that I really cared about these smelly guys and girls.
We hike in all kinds of weather. Sometimes it’s very hot and we are soaked with our own sweat. Sometimes we bleed. One of our own was bitten by a tick and came down with Lyme’s Disease. We pray for his complete recovery. Soon! But there are beautiful moments as well and beautiful people too. Some of the women make me feel thirty years younger when they smile or laugh. But then I watch the young men with their strength and good looks take them away. And I remind myself that I have been there and done these things. Perhaps I should watch the sun as it sets while the clouds glow. And take a photo.
I recently took one photo on a kayaking trip that pretty much sums up my love for these adventures and the people who make them possible. Here it is. . .
I’m not sure I can express the subtle emotions that accompanied this evening on the Potomac River. It was about the peaceful breezes and beauty around us. There was one cloud on the horizon and it worked in perfect concert with the setting sun. I felt that if life brought me to this point there must be some benevolent power behind it. Riding home, alone in my car with Cousin Brucey and the 60’s on 6, the GPS lady telling me what to do and the cruise control on 55 I tried to sort it all out. And, only because I’ve been down so many roads was I able to make sense of it. It’s all about the setting sun and moments in time. Don’t grasp at things. And I remembered a quote I often read as a young man. It bothered me then. I couldn’t accept it.
Now I can accept it. He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.
Though outwardly a gloomy shroud,
The inner half of every cloud
Is bright and shining:
I therefore turn my clouds about
And always wear them inside out
To show the lining.
~Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler
It is true that our most difficult times often lead to moments of great joy. Clouds do have silver linings. So it might make sense to actually deal with adversity in a relaxed and relatively upbeat manner. I’m not saying it’s easy to do this. But, if you’ve been around long enough to see it happen a few times, it ought to be possible.
Following this line of thought it may mean that we can see the struggles of humanity in a different light. While certainly being empathetic to the suffering that is going on we are actually involved spectators in a process that is taking this planet and its inhabitants to a higher level. What is that higher level you might ask? Well, I don’t know. But if we stick around we may find out!
The tulip and the butterfly Appear in gayer coats than I: Let me be dressed fine as I will, Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still. ~Isaac Watts
Isaac Wattswas a theologian and a philosopher. My reason for liking him is that he led the way for inclusion of new songs in the Protestant worship service. New poetry, in fact, put to music. And, he wrote about logic. A contemporary of John Locke, Watts was later a subject of C.S. Peirce, the American philosopher and originator of Pragmatism here in the U.S.
I’m reading about the history of Pragmatism and actually tried to write about it a few weeks ago in a post about Jonathan Edwards. So my line of characters now runs from Isaac Watts to Wallace Stevens. That should keep the blogger busy for awhile.
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens
It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain
And Spring arose on the garden fair, Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere; And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast rose from the dreams of its wintry rest. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”