|That's me! No to do list in my hand!|
Other times I meet my friend Jamie, who has never brought her her goofy young retriever, and it's wise to leave behind her flat-faced, not-so-nice French bulldog. But I'm happy to hike just with her, listening to her stories of Ironman and Mont Blanc and the regular ups and downs of a long marriage. Jamie's pace is excellent, too, though we pause from sweaty ascents to snap photos of waterfalls or neat bridges or beautiful, Evergreen covered paths that show us the way.
Every now and then it's just me and Sunny. I know that bears and cougars and unkind people exist out there, not that we've run into any of them. When we hike alone we stick to popular trails and I tell my husband where I am, when I leave, and when I return. But I can go my own pace--a steady, strong "Ranger walk," like my dad used to when I hiked with him. I don't take breaks and I don't slow down; my thoughts wander and I breathe in the smell of fresh rain and pine trees. I always have to laugh at how fast I get to the top.
|Sunny at Lake Serene|
I pay attention to time only because I need to get back to school by 3, with a tired and muddy pup, to pick up my kids. We all return home--to normalcy, to the to-do list, to a much-needed shower. My body is tired but my heart is happy, and I can continue with all my stay-at-home mom stuff with more humor and good stories. When they tumble back into my car at the end of the day, loud and loose after being on their best behavior for hours, they ask me, "How was your hike? Where'd you go?" and they ask when they can go, too.
In time, they'll come with me. One of these days, maybe I'll let one of them skip school and head to the mountains with me--they'll know how good it feels. Just a little bit naughty, but very good for the soul.