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A Perfect Day

April 11, 2010

 This last day of my 51st year was perfect.  It began with coffee in bed with my honey, laptop on the covers and a couple of paragraphs of my next novel in progress written.   Next, off to the 8am workout at Rocky’s Gym, a weekly standing date with my daughter Eva.  She gets me there by her very presence and even when I think I might give up (the workouts are quite difficult) I hear her from across the room telling me I can do it, and I do.   I hopped in my truck and headed to the barn to hook up Kermit the trailer, and load up Utah the horse, to meet up with Elisabet my

Elisabet & Tango

seriously fun friend, at Lexington Reservoir, my old stomping grounds.  It was fitting to visit this place on the eve of my birthday.  When I was 19 and lived at Lexington, I got my first horse Billy Jack.  We rode all over the hills together and I don’t think we ever saw another human.  The place has changed a lot in 30 years, but it is also just the same. 

I had noticed the wind as soon as I woke up, the birch trees were whipping around outside my window.  Dark clouds were gathering like they were having a party, but I wasn’t worried.  The storm was due in the next day.  Rain drops that hadn’t read the weather report started to fall, my windshield wipers were pressed into action and I phoned Elisabet.  We decided to bring rain coats and go for it.  I opened my trailer and the wind found out and picked up all the loose hay in the manger and threw into my face.  I closed my eyes and used a towel to clean out the icky spent hay from my last trailer-out ride that stuck in moldy clumps to the metal.  Utah loaded without  a speck of hesitation and I knew that our adventure was on. 

Utah doesn't yet know about the 4 miles straight up.

The trail ascends sharply for about 4 miles.  Tango knew what to expect and Utah figured it out pretty quickly.  Elisabet and I were up out of the saddle as our horses worked hard to haul us up the steep grade.  I could feel Utah’s back rounded beneath me, the heat generated by his laboring body warming my chilly legs.  We came around a bend and the wind on the exposed ridge leaned into us with all its might.  Our horses turned into it, put their heads down and continued on.  Soon we were at the top and the sky cleared enough to see the Santa Clara Valley stretch as far as we could see below us.  We wound back into the hills and the city and its populace receded away like it was simply some remote photo that we had looked at for a minute.  Our ride down the mountain to our parked rigs was filled with great conversation and a tangible sense that we are damn lucky people. 

The wonder of this day was not yet over.  Tim & I had a gift certificate for the Tea House Spa where I had the privilege of having a massage with Adrian.  He also has an April birthday and had just turned 35 on the 6th.  We got to talking about age and what it meant to grow older, how the perspectives are so different as we journey through time.  Adrian recently went to a concert and he mentioned a comment made by the musician that just about sums up everything I have been thinking as I approach my birthday.  “If your life isn’t getting better as you get older, than you are doing something wrong.”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Elisabet permalink
    April 12, 2010 8:43 pm

    Not many of my friends are crazy (or wonderful?) enough to go out and RIDE in spite of the threatening rain!!! I’m glad that you are one of them! Another wonderful experience to put in the bucket of memories I’ll access when I need a smile!

    E.

  2. Helen Williams permalink
    April 12, 2010 11:30 pm

    I’m not sure it’s accurate for me that life goes in a one-way continuum as I get older, i.e. getting better as it goes as if on a linear progression. It seems to me that it waxes and wanes through the peaks and valleys, mostly unpredictable except in the way that I do get older every day. But my understanding of myself and, hopefully, my relationship to the world does get deeper as time goes by. What necessarily is important and true becomes more clear as opposed to things of fleeting importance, even though some of these things may have lasted awhile and may have offered some good fun. I guess for me, it’s not that life itself is better or worse as I get older. It’s my approach to it and perception of it that gets better.

    • April 13, 2010 1:46 am

      Peaks and valleys are the very things that catapult and drag us along on this road of life. I agree completely with your last sentence and since the reality is that the things that we do and the things that we have are all transcient, the only way our lives can really be better is through a change in approach and percerption. For me, this is the progression of life getting better, and I agree that a linear model does not really fit. I think I loved that sentence in my blog piece because I not only feel that way right now, but also because it is like a carrot in front of the mule.

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