journal . stories . life

17 ~ March 2024

(journal while overnight backpacking:) The back noise at our camp today are the breezes sounding in the tall pines; something familiar and peaceful, from all these years of winter camping at mid elevations. We have already been here three hours. the dogs and I are moving slow, just taking in the experience of being out here in the woods alone. There are several rock formations nearby, that we will explore as soon as I finish setting up the tent.

First off, I am an old man. 72. In ten years I will be 82. I am not entirely sure what life will be like then, assuming I am fortunate enough to reach that age, but I can say right now I am grateful that I have the health & strength to still be backpacking. It brings me great joy to climb up some ridge offtrail and set up camp near granite domes, and not see another person the entire trip. All my time is spent moving slow, noticing patterns of beauty in the pines and fir, in the rocks and sky, and allowing the rhythm of dusk, night, and dawn settle into my spirit.

Nights like that up high are when the stars are most visible, and then it blows my mind to think we are one planet around one sun in a galaxy of 400 billion+ stars within a universe of 400+ billion galaxies (or infinite ???). It makes you feel small and insignificant, but also part of something greater, a soul appreciating the wonder of the universe. Call it what you will, but up there alone I feel closer to the Creator from being in awe of the Creation. The time is getting nearer when I will step through and experience the mystery of what the passage and next life is all about. My sense is that the feelings I get on those nights of solitude and starlight are just a bit of how wonderful it will be.

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More journal notes:

March 16:Another Saturday night, and I have the health and heart to go out and dance hard and fast in front of a live band. It is such a rush when a good song starts up, and right then, I try to find a partner. Most times it works out, sometimes not. When it does there is no feeling like it.

The proper attitude is that none of us will be here in 100 years, so it is our right and duty to appreciate the life we have (been given). Dancing and music and celebration is a way to do that.

The band tonight (Martin and Kelly) are talented and high energy, one of the very best that has played at the Rose.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"