Monday, January 9, 2012

I Miss Nature

So the trek to health continues and it is [this week] an enjoyable venture. We are having some random lovely springtime weather, which I am soaking up -- Weather in the 50s in the am, 70s in the pm. A little chilly here and there but in the "heat of the day" it's ideal for being outside.

If you have known me for four seconds or longer, I have definitely told you about a hiking trip I went on for three weeks when I was 20. Fantastic, excellent, beautiful, life-changing, etc. During this trip I spend a lot of time just walking and thinking. I didn't realize what an absurd luxury that was until I became a mother and every moment of my life involved interacting with people. As an old-fashioned introvert, I enjoy my time alone. So when I get out for a walk on my own, I often think of those three weeks, and the natural beauty I saw, and how clear everything became to me when I was out in nature.

Yesterday I went for a really long walk down the brand new extra-wide lovely pristine sidewalk that has been put in along US-90, from my neighborhood going east until the I-10 interchange. It is a lovely walk:

...that leads directly to the brand-new strangely-Southwestern library branch that was built recently near my house:

When I drove by as it was under construction last year, I thought it was a church. You have to admit, it has a churchy vibe to it.

So the nice weather, the outdoors, and the strange little faux-adobe library that was plopped down within minutes of my house remind me of those hiking days again, and I realize how much I miss hiking, not for itself, because to be honest I don't really *like* blisters or hauling heavy bags around for hours on end, but for everything else that goes along with hiking: quiet, nature, breeze, campfires, jokes, stories, spectacular views, self-sufficiency, sunlight, mental clarity, escape from the daily grind, and total lack of expectation that I will be bathed, made-up, or presentable.

I wonder if I will ever go hiking again. I can't imagine it happening before all of my children are away to college. And by then, will I have the joints to walk up mountains? It's a question that makes me sad to think about. Maybe I can cajole the family into a couple of national parks to soothe my soul. Until then, lots of walks to Santa Leon de la Biblioteca.


  1. Start 'em early! I have a lot of friends who have their babies on the trail just months after they are born. (maybe a little extreme... but no babies have died yet due to nature exposure.) My parents took us on short afternoon hikes until we got older. Around the ages of 12-14 we'd all been on at least a 50 miler. Some times we would just backpack a local mountain, sleep at the top and head home the next afternoon. Those are without a doubt some of the best memories I have with my family, as well as the most meaningful self-discovery adventures!

  2. I know time is an issue, but you and I should go hiking. I love it, too.

    I agree with Hikari - you definitely don't have to wait until the kids are off to college! Even if you don't start them right away, remember when we biked to St. Mark's as middle-schoolers? 16 miles there and 16 back and we weren't some kind of wacko fitness nuts. The trail is flat and we had a blast, aside of the sore posterior at the end of the line!

  3. I do remember that trail :) the issue, in my mind, with "real" hiking is thY we would have to drive 5+ hours or fly to get somewhere to do it, because you can't ever plan on the weather being good here. It is often good, but it's random; you couldn't plan ahead of time and be sure of good weather. Maybe thats less of an obstacle than what I imagine, but still. Times like this make me wish for milder summers, or at least fewer poisonous snakes. ;)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Come to Utah. We have many many mountains. Patrick and I live in a prime spot where we have over 100 trails anywhere within 5 to 30 minutes from our home. You guys can stay at our place, then we'll stay at Nature's place for the weekend.

  6. That sounds awesome!! :) We'll watch the plane fares ;D Utah is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I was thinking the other day about when we went to see the first Lord of the Rings movie in Sandy. I felt like I was in a different universe -- the Utah landscape was so foreign to me, and it was snowy and everything. That was really fun.