Yesterday I took a break from writing and I went out for a hike with my friend and my dog. The fall around here is SO beautiful, that it is almost a sin not to be outside. I love the smell of pinecones and hearths burning somewhere near by; the trees bursting with bright shades of yellows, reds, oranges and greens; the mountain peaks capped with snow and the air as crisp as a Fuji apple.
My friend and I walked through the forest under cascading leaves. We saw chipmunk, buck deer, squirrels and many birds. She can name them all. She used to live in Alaska, which is one of the reasons I like to hike with her. She also knows what to do about cougars and bears. I can’t trust my dog. He hides behind me when confronted, even by Chihuahuas.
Its funny how we come to love our lives no matter what. At least that is true for me. For years I wished I lived somewhere else. Somewhere where it didn’t rain for nine months straight. Somewhere warm, by the sea. I dreamt of my feet sinking in the wet sand, my body sprayed by crashing waves and mango juice dripping down my elbows. I wanted the sun. The warmth. The sea.
But that was before I had grandchildren. Now all the warmth I need comes from their chubby little arms around my neck. The only light I crave is their toothless smiles. In their blue eyes I find the sea. Now all I want is to live somewhere near them, wherever that may be, and even if it rains.
Someday I will take my grandchildren out on a long hike of trails caked with leaves. I can just see us now: my friend and I, and our small crew of backpackers, ringing bells as we hike, to scare the bear away, and yes, an old dog trailing behind us. I hope that day comes later rather than sooner. Today we are having fun gathering acorns and maple leaves, right here in my front yard.
Tell me, my dear reader, where do you want to live?