direction they are today. He's an adult, a teacher, the father of the world's most awesome grandson, in short a man I'm incredibly proud of. He's also the most independent cuss I've ever known. He truly does his own thing.
As an example of his independence and self-confidence, he decided to celebrate his birthday by climbing an area mountain. This on top of participating in a race the day before. (You don't want to see the blisters on his heels) He's climbed this mountain before so is familiar with the terrain. What he wanted was the physical challenge and the chance to spend time close to nature--something that resonates with the whole family. We finished the day by all of us going out to dinner so his day's adventure was sharp in his mind, and because he's articulate, I have clear images of what he saw while alone on the backside of that peak.
One day this spring a fierce windstorm hit the mountains. As a consequence, the opening of some area campgrounds have been delayed as cleanup of tree blowdowns takes place. What those of us down in civilization didn't know was the devistation that had taken place on that mountain. As Ryan explained, his eyes wide and somber, a half-mile wide swatch of old growth pine trees had been leveled. Literally thousands of massive trees were twisted in all directions, piled on top of each other. Nature's strength at its most impressive. My son, who works summers firefighting and recently returned from two weeks in California, understands the danger inherent in those blowdowns. As he explained, salvaging the timber may be more trouble than its worth. Not only is the area inaccessible to machinery, the trees are piled on top of each other, pinned in places, pinning other trees at the same time. Cutting through one tree can result in a massive and deadly shifting of weight throughout the pile.
My point here: I sit here in my office describing what my son experienced. He goes out and embraces the wilderness, often taking his son with him. In contrast, Grandma relies on her imagination, safe in her calm environment. My imagination is one of my greatest joys. I love mentally and emotionally placing myself in uncounted situations. In my mind I take canoes down raging rivers, fight forest fires, hunt buffalo (as I did when I was writing historicals) and have the kind of sex I can only lust after. But those grand adventures and experiences and people exist only in my mind while my son climbs onto a felled giant of a tree and looks out at a half-mile swath example of a force beyond our comprehension.
I love the path I've taken in life but oh do I envy him.