Thursday, April 25, 2013

On vacation

Birthdays. I suppose this could become a philosophical moment but I have left the "age, wisdom, beauty" debate behind years ago. Since passing the half century mark, I try to utilize the advent of the B-day to do something significant with my happily ongoing life. A few of the bucket list things I have previously accomplished  are:  fly a single engine plane, get a tattoo, start a small charity, graduate from college, put in a stone patio and travel to France & Iceland. I use my random birth date as a point from which to plan out another year of growth and challenge. This year I am unfortunately stumped... I need nothing, nor can I say I have any great wants. My children have become quite creative negotiating this birthday quandary and this weekend I was treated to a delicious home barbeque, a lovely knit cowl and the bonhomie of my family.

I find it fascinating how aging refocuses interests. Certainly, as I have aged, the pull of stuff has diminished; I no longer collect anything that does not make me want to do a joyful little dance at its discovery. In fact, I have been gifting away things for years now. I tire of the thought of dragging boxes of stuff with me or burdening my children with too much at my passing. Having seen many an estate sale burgeoning with unwanted lifelong collections and witnessed heirs callously throwing away the valuables of their elders, I am alert to the insidious human habit of accumulation.

I think perhaps, I am searching for more of an intellectual challenge. I will have to ponder this more as I begin the springtime garden chores. We have had a few mild days amidst buckets of rain. Everything is quite green and the Missouri River is cresting below flood stage this week. There are definitely low lying areas where flooding is a problem and hopefully the waters will recede without incurring serious damage.

 I find whenever the river is high there are plenty of folks who enjoy just sitting and watching the current rushing by carrying the "river alligators," meaning downed trees and logs, upriver (as the Missouri flows backwards here). Today while walking the trail, in 60 degree sunshine, near a full riverbed, I am hopeful these higher water levels will reverse the residual effects of the terrible droughts from the past few years . 

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