And then before I know it, the maple leaves are turning red, and I know that another living, growing year is almost gone. And always, I have a sense of having somehow missed it. Missed the essence of the Living Year itself.
I’m in my forties now, and like most forty-somethings, I’m starting to have those I-won’t be-young-forever thoughts. Most of them are pretty standard- thinking about spending more time with my kids, where I’m heading in my career, etc. But this past winter (a long cold winter) I had a different forty-something thought, and it was this:
One day, most likely some thirty-five or forty years from now, I’ll be facing death. And when I do, unless it’s smack in the middle of Spring, I will think wistfully that I never did take the time and spend the effort to really see, experience and understand how the world wakes up in and through every Living Year.
I know rationally that everyone who dies with at least a moment’s warning is bound to die with at least some regrets. I know I can’t change that. But this year, above all else, I will change one thing about my future, so that when I face death one day, my regrets will at least not include having missed the change. This year, I will watch the world wake up.
I live in
I tend to cover the same ground a few times a week this way, and on the weekends I usually hike somewhere in the same area with my kids, most often the Wasatch foothills between Emigration and City Creek canyons.
For much of its length, the Wasatch doesn’t have foothills. Down between Mill Creek and Corner canyons, the mountains pretty much launch straight up at the sky. But up North the valley benches lift up into true foothills. Between 5,000 and 7,000 feet the foothills are covered with a mix of open grass/scrub and woodland/chaparral.
The grass/scrub will be carpeted with a succession of wildflowers, which I’ll photograph and research as I find them. Even now, in the brown and mud, I’ve found these two tiny flowers over the past 3 days, which I’ve been as yet unable to ID.
Right now the Mountain Mahogany is the only bit of green on the foothills. You can see a few in this photo towards the top of
It’s an evergreen, and I’ll write more about it in future posts.
On this morning’s ride, I saw:
-1 porcupine (in the dark, by the mouth of Dry Creek as I was heading up)
-1 coyote (in the light, same place, on the return)
~dozen or so deer (several places. These things are so common I hardly notice them…)
-2 scrub jays and a bunch of magpies getting into it over something, near Huntsman Cancer Institute
-1 human. A paraglider. He passed over me as I was returning on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, right by Huntsman. A moment later I pooped out of the trailhead onto