I am thinking about journeys, and maps, and preparedness, and how different life feels at each different “stop along the way”. Just a few more days – mid-June – and I’ll be on the other side of 60. Wild. At 25 I wasn’t even certain I’d see 30, with any confidence. I can’t honestly say that I’ve been a skillful or well-prepared traveler in life, either. I sort of stumbled on down the path wherever it led, and I’m fortunate to be where I now stand. (Well… actually, where I sit, as in this moment right now, I’m sitting at my computer with a lovely hot cup of tea, after a day in the garden.)

I’m enjoying this cup of tea, feeling my muscles a bit stiff and achy after the gardening. Lots of stooping, kneeling, leaning, and of course, occasionally standing back up. lol It was a good day of gardening, and I’m pleased with the results; peas and beans planted, the neighbor’s cat (hopefully) quite discouraged from my vegetable bed, a wire trellis added for the peas to climb, and some new herb plants tucked in here and there in the flower beds among the roses (some French tarragon, lemon thyme, and a curry plant). It has been quite a lovely day.

One sunny corner in my garden.

I love the garden as a metaphor for life. Is it perfect? Nope. I sure don’t have either that kind of money or that kind of time. I work on things over the seasons, adding something new, making some little change or improvement, enjoying what I’ve done, and starting all over again each Spring. Eventually, I know the primroses will fill in that corner they occupy, though they haven’t yet. I know the lupines will bloom sturdy and bold, in their own good time – they’re still quite young and are still developing strong roots. I know that eventually, the neighbor’s cat and I will achieve some sort of acceptable understanding of our mutual boundaries. Next year, the blueberries may have fruit, but I know they won’t this year. Still, season after season, year after year, I make improvements, and I enjoy the results. I make a point of spending more time appreciating what worked out nicely, and the veggies that ripened to maturity and yielded good harvests. I don’t spend much time thinking about the entire row of gorgeous seedlings that damned cat dug up, or the unexpected freeze that killed an entire crop I planted too early. I take note of the things that went wrong. I’m observant of the things I failed at. I just don’t get mired in those details or spend much time dwelling on those. It suits me to spend more time on the delights of the garden, and my great joy to be there.

…Life also seems to benefit from that approach; I let myself soak in the joys and celebrate the small wins. I face my failures with measured calm, and an observer’s gaze, without getting stuck there. I mean, that’s the goal. 😀 I’m still ever so human. lol

I saw a small brown bunny today, nibbling my neighbor’s lawn while I worked. I enjoyed a chocolate donut in the passenger’s seat of my Traveling Partner’s new truck, as we headed home from running errands together. I breathed fresh morning air, and enjoyed afternoon sunshine. It’s been a thoroughly lovely day – it doesn’t need anything more to complete it. It is… enough.

I sigh, and sip my tea. It’s warming and quite nice, smelling of pine and forests. I feel chilly; it’s just fatigue. I contemplate a hot shower – that would feel pleasantly warming, too. Sometimes the simplest things are quite enough.

My Traveling Partner and I have been enjoying happy hours discussing camping trips and discussing the gear we have, the gear we need. The truck is a lovely addition to future adventuring, no doubt, and we found ourselves short a few things to camp together or go overlanding. Almost all my gear is specifically selected for solo camping, and intended to allow me to travel light while also ensuring I can get a good night’s rest, enjoy a cup of coffee, and apply first aid to a blistered foot if needed. Together? Hmm… we’re more about the glamping and the really getting away, you know? LOL There are new trailheads waiting! Another useful metaphor for living; traveling. Solo or in the company of a friend, traveling benefits from a bit of planning, and from being prepared. There’s value in bringing a map…but… sometimes, we really do have to blaze our own trail, and become our own cartographer. (I know, I know… helpful to have an emergency beacon, GPS, a trail app… it’s the 21st century, and we have so many more options in life – and in metaphors. 😉 )

…I find myself thinking back on a wonderful camping trip I once took with a dear friend. I don’t recall quite where we went, only how lovely it was. I took a wonderful walk, though I wasn’t really certain what to “do with myself” – I was too recently returned from deployment, too recently discharged back into civilian life… I did not know how to camp recreationally. LOL I kept trying to find something to do… kept an eye on the horizon, listening for certain sorts of noises… hilarious looking back on it. I also made some sketches, wrote some poetry, read awhile… It was a good time, and I’m glad I have it to look back on. I sure wish I could remember where that was…

A nice way to coast into the evening. I smile, finish my tea, and think about love. It’s time to begin again. There are adventures yet to have, and my birthday is so close! 😀