Because I can
In two days, I fly to the other side of the continent. New Jersey. Home to half my kids, all my grandkidlings, and three-quarters of my grand-dogs. (As well as the NY Giants and NY Jets, in case you needed to know that.)
But before I leave Oregon, one last 2016 hike through Shevlin Park today …
Photo credit: me and my iPhone
… because I can.
Because I have feet that work, that carry my weight and move forward when I tell them to. Not to mention the legs and arms and head and … and …
Because I’m in no pain. At all. Whatsoever.
Because I love the cold and the beautiful fluffy white stuff that falls from the heavens and I have layers of fuzzy warm shaggy scarves and mittens and ear muffs and puffy coats and dependable hiking boots.
Because my car started up when I turned the key in the ignition; because I can afford the gas in my tank.
Because I have the time. I have the freedom. There are no bombs dropping from overhead. There are no occupying forces keeping me from places I want to go, taking me to places I don’t want to go. (Just finished reading a Jodi Picoult book, The Storyteller, that swept back and forth between generations, the older having survived Nazi concentration camps … and oh, the things I take for granted.)
Because I was missing the song of Tumalo Creek and I love the squeak of boots on snow and the smell of the cold and the anticipation of a honeyed Chai tea when I returned home.
Because being out in God’s astonishing wild beautiful mind-blowing creation wakes me up, clears my head, challenges me, causes the creative juices to sizzle.
So many good reasons to walk the Shevlin Park trail today.
Photo credit: me and my iPhone
And in two days, I will wrap my arms around a beautiful daughter who is also my friend, and six gorgeous grandchildren, and a tall and wise son-in-law who loves my daughter and grandkidlings fiercely, and I will take my life in my hands sitting in the passenger seat while oldest granddaughter drives, and we will have profound intelligent crazy laughter-filled conversations around a crowded dinner table, and I will remind them of funny things their dad and grandpa said, and I will take The Teens to the newest Star Wars movie, and color with The Littles and we will drink chocolate steamers slowly at our favorite book store and buy Laura Numeroff books and read “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” twenty-seven times and “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” thirty-two times.
I will take exquisite note of everything. And count these blessings, all these ways God loves me. And I will tuck this into my heart for when I return to Oregon and walk the Shevlin Park trail once again — alone, but not really alone — remembering Christmas in New Jersey.
Taking nothing for granted these days.
Side note: I was sitting on my favorite rock in this spot a few weeks ago when a man with a gray ponytail and a dog walked directly up to me: “You don’t mind if I invade your space, do you?” Are you serious? There are numerous landing spots along this creek and you want to be here where I’m brainstorming and solving world problems? I don’t say this out loud, of course.
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