So this is me. Not horrible for a gal of 52. A new grandma. Mom of four… well five men, if I count Adrian, and of course I do and always will. The last two years have put some miles on me. I feel each of them. If one more person tells me that , “you are only as old as you feel,” it is likely that I will pumas them to the ground. I feel old…. dull…. worn out…. and not at all as if 50 is the new 30.
I have been reflective as I sit on the sofa mending…mindful that as I look back on the past few years I can see that there is a common thread that seems to have weaved its way through the year leaving behind it a certain THEME. For example; this time last year a horse named Sis entered my life and I spent all of last year learning lessons from the pen as I tried to train her… and she; me. It was the year of the horse. The year before, the year of open road adventures. The year before that “Independence.” and so on. And since I already feel that this year will have a theme too.. I have decided to name it in advance. I already see that it will be the year of FREEDOM.
Freedom from weight, from illness, from heart-break, from disappointment, from all those things that weigh me down. Oh sure I am positive that there will be new things that this year will bring that will have those things attached, but this is old things.
As health has had me sidelined and on the sofa, I picked up some books that have been piling up, one of the was WILD…. a true story of a girl who set out on the Pacific Coast High Way to hike her way back to.. well herself… 1200 miles later she could stand at the Bridge of God’s and claim victory over her life….. I guess sometimes it takes extreme measure to find what is so deeply buried…. and in my case 1200 miles to shed the old to make room for the new.
As I sat in the theater, I could hear myself ask… “self, what is it going to take for you to claim your victory?” there was no answer. I had heard the question earlier as I sat on the sofa and closed the book after reading its last page. Tonight, as I sat in my car in the crowded parking lot, the question wouldn’t go away….. And then as if I had always known the answer came and sat with me.
If she could walk 1200 miles in just under three months…. I could walk 1200 miles in a year…. my terrain wouldn’t necessarily be the Mojave’ Desert, or the mountainous trails with their snow-covered peaks in the distance… but, rather the high school track just out my back door, or the country roads where our dogs love to run. But, all the same…. 1200 miles. Each step bringing me closer to the woman who I want to be…. Journaling all along the way. And, at the end of it… standing out on the Bridge of the God’s reclaiming the me I want to be.
I am convinced that we all have to, at some point, look life square it’s it eye, and ask ourselves if we are one the right trail. There is a scene in the movie where Cheryl in hiking in the snow and out of nowhere two skiers come flying past her.. she yells out to they, “Hey, where am I?” and they ask if she is lost….. she answers back, “no, not lost, just screwed.”
I think I was the only one in the theater that laughed out loud… Awkward.. it wasn’t that it was funny, it was more of an “I understand” laugh… that mocking laugh that says… “oh boy, I know that feeling.” As Cheryl continued on her path she was relieved some time later to find a marker that indicated she was on the right path… I have been frantically looking for my marker and well….. It doesn’t seem to be anywhere….
Cheryl left on her journey to reclaim that part of her that she had lost. I think I will do the same. I am claiming 2015 the year of Freedom… WILD, UNTAMED, FREEDOM…. So my lessons from the pen are sidelined for now…. I will get back to them, but for now…. I’m strapping on my boots, grabbing my pack, and heading down Freedom’s Trail. I hope you will join me next December on the Bridge of the God’s to celebrate the journey.