”Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
Tonight marks the beginning of the best time of the year. At 2 am Sunday morning, we move the clocks ahead an hour. For those of us who cherish being outdoors, this means an extra hour of daylight to do what we love to do. While most folks bemoan the loss of an hour of sleep, I see it as an opportunity. An opportunity for adventure!
Instead of coming home every day and climbing on my stationary bike, the extra hour of light means that I’ll be able to head out to Ward Pound Ridge for a hike. If only for a few miles, being outside to witness the change from winter to spring and eventually summer is a much greater gift than you can imagine!!
With a starting temperature of 56 degrees at 7:30 this morning I made my way to Ward Pound Ridge for my first hike of the new year. With my daughters hockey schedule, weather concerns and no real daylight in the afternoon, hiking really hasn’t been a possibility. For several days now, we have known that today was going to be a warm one.
With that in mind, I knew that I had to get out!
With a new pair of boots that needed breaking in, I decided to keep the distance relatively short and the pace kind of slow. Needless to say, it was great to get out.
“Wake up! If you knew for certain you had a terminal illness–if you had little time left to live–you would waste precious little of it! Well, I’m telling you…you do have a terminal illness: It’s called birth. You don’t have more than a few years left. No one does! So be happy now, without reason–or you will never be at all.”
This quote sends a very powerful message. One that not many people think about it. Whether you like it or not, you are, in fact, dying. The process began the second you were born. I can tell you that in my twenties, thirties and even into my forties, I was so wrapped up in the intricacies of every day life that I never gave death a thought. Now that I have ventured into my fifties, I have come to the realization that I have much less time on the earth than I have spent on it.
This is an odd feeling. I find myself thinking about my mortality and how it has laid claim to how it plays a role in the decisions that I make every day. My priorities on what it means to be happy, and how I can get to that level of happiness have evolved and is now paramount in my life. It also continues to be an ongoing exploration of seeing that being happy is much easier than we think it is.
I’m not talking about gaining material goods to see if I can make myself happy, it’s more of a choice of how I interact with everyone around me. These personal interactions are what I consider to be true measures of happiness.
Being happy is a choice made by every person every day and should last until our last day.
When I complete new hikes (and even old ones) I try to include these two things in at least one of the pictures. My partners and tour guides, the ones that have been with me during every hike over the last 17 or so, are my day pack and hiking poles. They are true tour guides that have never complained about the length of a hike or the severity of the weather.
These three photos were taken at Ward Pound Ridge, a place where I have spent many, many hours hiking since this past summer. Located about 20 minutes from my house, it offers a multitude of hiking trails that offer a sense of peace and tranquility to either start a day or end one.