05 December ~ 2021

Here are some photos of the first of our November overnight backpack trips. We scrambled offtrail over and around boulders, then up a slope to an amazing campsite on a ridge overlooking a stream. It’s easier going up than back down with a heavy near winter pack on, and I worried a little about making it down. Just because I have gone all these years backpacking alone without any problems (near 30), doesn’t mean something never will. I am faced with the twin arcs of wanting to continue with what I love against an aging body. I don’t go up there unprepared though. I train weekly, carrying a weighted back so my back and legs are conditioned for the heavy load. This is not just for my sake, but also because I don’t want to be responsible for worry and hardship to my dogs if something were to happen with me.

On the long drive back home, I listened to a podcast recommended to me by a friend - Ten Percent Happier. This episode was an interview with Kaira Jewel Lingo, a mindfulness and meditation teacher. During the course of the podcast Kaira discussed the five remembrances from Buddha, which I had never heard before. I think they are to help us remember the reality of life, and to appreciate what we have now, in this day and in this moment:

  1. I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
  2. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape having ill health.
  3. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
  4. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
  5. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

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“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"