November 14, 2015
Sailed today in San Francisco Bay on Barts’ sailboat, Expeditious; Skipper Mike did a fine job directing the crew, Laura, Jon, Grace, Monica and me. A beautiful day spent in great company is always good for the soul. Spending a day in the company of young men and women in their twenties and thirties for whom, in most cases, the possibilities in life have no time restraints reminds me that most limitations are mental and of our own making.
Perhaps life is a virtual reality as the Multiverse Theory suggests. In that case, I’m comfortable clearing the cobwebs from my youthful dreams and tapping into the optimism I once had to create continuos magnificent moments, sometimes subtle, sometimes outrageously explosive, for the duration of my life cycle.
I had intended to set off from Mission Peak and hike for five consecutive days, camping for four nights before reaching my destination at Lake Del Valle. That didn’t happen. I lost a day due to thunderstorms and another day due to stupidity. One more attempt made clear to me that my hips could survive but my left knee would challenge the wisdom of setting off into the wilderness on my own for multiple days with questionable water supply. I returned to the trail, after resting a day, to correct my navigation error and to retest my joints. The result was a rewarding day of being alone in a beautiful landscape of hills and intoxicating aromas, also experiencing serious pain in my left knee. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
As the years pass, I will continue to push my limits. However, for the comfort of those who love me and worry about me, I will push those limits within a margin of safety (most of the time). To head out on a multi-day wilderness trail with questionable water supply and an undependable knee joint is beyond the margin of safety. To hike and camp with dependable water supply, even if it needs to be treated to be potable, is pushing my limits within a safety margin.
When I was young, I wondered what I would become by the age of twenty, thirty forty, fifty. I’m well past that now and I know that I have only scratched the surface of what might be possible. Each day I see something I’ve never seen before, a color, a shape, a face, a plant. I meet someone new who adds richness to my life. Because of a chance encounter, I am not the same as I was before. Sometimes, just a smile from a stranger can alter my day; sometimes I’m that stranger that alters someone else’s day. Altering other people’s reality and having my own altered is well worth the effort of giving each day my very best, mentally, emotionally and physically.