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Friday, March 4, 2011

The joy is in the journey

Sprinting out the door and actually making it up to our viewpoint before sunrise is getting harder and harder. Longer days... I love them but I shall miss most sunrises when they are too early for this sluggish coffee hound.
Based on our early morning snow bike rides together, I have an impression that K has made a leap in her recovery from the long bone infection ordeal. For a while, she seemed like a shadow of her usual self. For the past few days, she's been scrambling among boulders, sprinting, and playing with an abandon that shouts that the ordeal is history.
One thing that remains is that she gained lots of gray in chocolate fur. I did too.
Although she has a predilection for action now, she still likes to stop and soak up the sun.
Out on the trails, she lives in the moment - running hard, sniffing carefully, and rolling in the snow. When we're in the forest, we generally have no destination. We are simply enjoying being in nature together. The joy is in the journey and not in a goal.
Although sometimes it might look like I'm pedaling hard to get someplace fast, that's usually not the case. In my dreams, I'd love to race bikes again someday. My bike racing days came to an abrupt halt when I ruptured a disc during a race in my early twenties. So, I know that a return to racing will never happen - my spine precludes it.

Now, I read about ultra-long distance snow bike races (like the Iditarod going on now) and mountain bike races, and I get these wild ideas that I should throw common sense to the wind and compete again. But then I remember - I'd be risking everything if I raced because I'm incapable of doing anything halfway - especially in a competitive atmosphere. I can't risk my precious early morning rides with K and my sunset hikes with the Duo. No way. I'll simply enjoy what I can do, here and now.
Now, I ride at a pace that lets me notice the small bits of beauty, like these purple catkins on a small tree growing next to a frozen creek.
One of my recent sunset hikes with the Duo featured spectacular skies. The sun dipped below the mountains, setting the blowing snow ablaze.
Snow billowing off nearby peaks glowed like gold dust.
Then, our world turned purple - the sky, the snow, and even the grass.
After the purple, gold took over. I've walked this trail a thousand times but it's never looked golden like this in the past.

The show ended as the cloud bank over my head caught fire against the eggshell blue sky.
What did those skies whisper to me? Chase your dreams but within reason. Figure out what you love and hold onto it. This message feels especially poignant these days as I'm scared by my spine's rebellion and by the frown that I saw on my PT's face as she examined me. "Not good" - her expressive face told me. So, I'll keep doing what I love and realizing how tenuous life is. Each day is worth savoring. K and R remind me of that every single day.
Better to live fully with some risk than to let life pass by.

PS Your comments about our pepper spray incident left me laughing out loud! Thanks for the grins. We're still battling the spray and residue. All windows and doors are open and fans are running - with a 30 degree temperature outside (and inside)!


  1. "Chase your dreams, but within reason." And notice when priorities rearrange themselves; when a hike at dawn or sunset being surrounded by beauty is more important than 'winning.'

    The gold and the lavender are awe inspiring.

  2. Those sunset colors are beautiful!

    Your pal, Pip

    P.S: I have lots of gray furs, too!

  3. We love Rottrover's comment.

    How wonderful to hear that K is doing so very well. We know that you will pace yourself within reason and still find a way to enjoy life - you always do. We wish your spirit could be bottled and distributed. We sure could use a good dose of it.

    What a beauty-filled post!!!

  4. Amazing 'magic' touches down on your little world. The vibrant colours must make you feel so good inside. The sun dipping down producing the effect of blazing snow...isn't that an oxymoron...perfect example! Yes..enjoy yourself but don't be easy for me to say...from the person who fell on ice 3 times last year....oh well!

  5. The journey is ultimately about filling the soul, growing in wisdom and appreciating beauty along every path. Where you are right here, right now embodies exactly that, as K and R tell you constantly...and you share with all of us.

  6. Wonderful...just wonderful. This is a post I will visit again and again to savor the words and photographs.

  7. Oh no :( what exactly did the PT not like? That is not good!!!

    K looks soooo good-I am so happy she got her bounce back :)

    Beautiful pictures and beautiful attitude my friend!

  8. Those sky pics are just INCREDIBLE!!!

    Thanks SO much for sharing them!

  9. Hi Y'all,

    Yes, it is amazing when you Humans stop for a minute and observe, how much you can learn from us, your dog(s), and from nature.

    Life is precious. Old timers used to say "here today, gone tomorrow". If we're lucky one day we'll have only our memories. Make them good ones. Then we'll be a memory.

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  10. That's what amazes me about the sky, how it's ever changing. It's like a glorious painting that someone keeps slapping different shapes and colors onto. Your photos are beautiful and so are your sentiments. It's hard when life doesn't let us do everything we want to do. But you have found other things to give you enjoyment and I believe you'll continue to do so. From where I'm looking, your life is expanding in some pretty amazing ways. And you know what the word verification is - outbles. Kind of ironic.

  11. I think it takes a wise person to realized sometimes that her dreams have changed. Darn maturity and growing up sometimes, but it does give you wisdom as compensation.

    Your sky pictures are absolutely beautiful! Have you thought about making your own calender?

  12. KB your photos are splendorios.. So magical. I can feel each one as my eyes look.
    Thank you for not pushing yourself beyond your limit,,, enjoy the moments,, and let them last as long as they can

  13. You are such an inspiration, KB. It seems that no matter what you face in your life, you always manage to find a bright side to things. More people should be like you. I know K and R must be so happy to live with someone who is so "carpe diem" in attitude!

  14. Great to see K is getting back to normal! And the scenery is as awesome as usual!

  15. What's the old line ? If you don't risk anything, you risk even more . Thought of you when I picked up Le Figaro at the cafe this morning and saw an article saying that the Eastern Mountain Lion has officially been declared extinct.

  16. K looks in perfect condition! you keep yourself safe and strong...the dogs need you!!
    thanks for your support,from wisconsin!

  17. Catching up on my blog reading after a few crazy weeks of work. The pepper spray incident totally cracked me up as it is precisely the type of thing that I do to myself. My sympathies and hope that things have returned to normal.

    Love the sentiment in today's post. I used to be all about the finish line, but have learned more and more to enjoy the race itself.

  18. Love K's action shots, and the catkins, and the skies! This is great advise: "The joy is in the journey and not in a goal." Have you read Ghost Trails? Have a great weekend with the Runner and the Pups.

  19. You have gained a lot of wisdom in your life, young lady. That wisdom will serve you well, as you undertake the rest of your journey. The gift of slowing down and really seeing things is a very precious one. Enjoy it to the fullest.

    Hmmmm, I just saw that my verification word is amish. Coincidence? They know all about simple gifts.

  20. I love this post very much! The pictures are beautiful! Beware the pepper spray...I can picture you now with windows open, fans going and the very cold weather! We hope it leaves completely very soon. Lots of love, Holly and mom

  21. You are a wise woman. I see every day as an amazing gift, and you have so much to enjoy. While you miss competition, and I have no doubt that you would give everyone a run for their money, there's no reason to jeopardize your health and safety. Racing those beautiful dogs of yours through the forest and trails is a pretty good deal. Have fun with it!!

  22. Dude, i'm so over the racing when one stupid bump on the head (caused by a teammate with no race experience) changed my life for 4 painful years. it affected MORE than just my ability to race. every aspect of my life. Winning a tee shirt or $50 is so not worth it. sorry. I'd rather win at full painfree (or comfortable) life.

    I still ride. Just find the balance.

    love those photos!

    as for riding with leashes and my dog(s). well, the leash is in 2 end fingers and my other 2 fingers are on the break. in any emergency, i release the leash and then stop. but pretty much NOW i just take the leash off and go w/o any leash, as long as there's no dog or horseback rider. they pass people just fine tho... thinking of just using a remote collar on them tho for safety. just seems like a better solution than a bike attachment like the walky dog thing i'm getting (which i dont' have) and the dog can moderate his/her speed. Both LOVE biking tho, so i think i will continue to ride with them 3x /week. not much more than that because juno's back legs are very weak and need time to build up and days off to rebuild. we're swapping bike rides for underwater treadmill too... so riding even less now but still doing it... it's fun riding a bike with a dog! i hope i can do it with both dogs with remote collars some day. but i need to take it in steps and make sure juno even responds to a remote collar. as one time she did not.

  23. Beautifully stated, beautifully photographed. It's a peaceful realization when the conclusion to enjoy the present is reached. I'm trying to reach that every day. Some days are harder than others, but like K and R, the girls are a reminder of that "enjoy the journey" mindset.

  24. Reading your posts backwards, I'm drawn back to the last post... living in a safe deposit box. It is difficult to say no to the things we can't do anymore, but there is so much more we can do. You've highlighted them so well here!


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