Happy 70th Dad!!
Today it's my Dad's 70th Birthday (in Fiji anyway and tomorrow in the States). I am pretty lucky to have my Dad around. He's a special guy and I definitely would not be who I am today if it wasn't for his guidance, love, and support. He is a naturalist by heart and now more officially by training with his naturalist class. He has a deep appreciation for nature, human beings, and how all things are interwoven. He sang songs to me every night that he put me to bed. He's always been proud of me and I've always known that he's on my side...no matter what. I've never questioned his deep love for me and our family ....and just completely knowing that he loves me has allowed me to grow up knowing I can conquer anything. I feel saddened that my girls do not get to spend as much time with their PapPap as everyone would like, but I also know while my dad is sad too....he is happy that we are here....living a life full of adventure and love. Everyone needs someone in their corner...no matter what. That's what I have with Dad.
Since I've started writing this blog, my dad has been inspired to do a little writing of his own. He's always been a good story teller and now he is putting it to paper (or the computer). So far he has written me 13 different letters on a variety of things. I've learned about hunting by ear, a lot about our family history and his childhood, everyday life with Mom and Dad, Dad's hopes and dreams, and have gained more insight into his gentle nature and good heart. Maybe the distance between us is actually making us closer because now we are writing to each other.... Here is a sample of what he wrote to me in response to my post about the hike. (By the way, I did get him a hiking stick for his birthday. I am still on the lookout for a unique one from Fiji, but I ordered him one to hold him over until then) .
Happy Birthday Dad! We love you so much!
I particularly liked your rain forest blog. I can quickly identify with the threat of anxiety which occurs when the terrain challenges balance and stability.
When my non-feeling feet, arthritic back, and never stellar sense of balance all combine and conspire to diminish my confidence and self-esteem it prompts me to blame my advancing age, forest ghost, bad luck, weather, other hikers, last night’s supper meal, dirty eye glasses, sun glare, shadows, or my in-laws for the impact of my stability crisis.
The only really dangerous threat is considering the possibility of not taking the walk, hike, trail, or adventure opportunity. Staying home or taking a safer and more secure path steals from you a great part of nature’s bounty, not to mention that playing it safe may be a prelude to the loss of many, many of life’s joys.
This is not to say that prudent good judgement and appropriate preparation are not paramount. Evaluating challenges calls for prudent good judgement and appropriate preparation. Also needed is attitude adjustment. Positive attitude, or lack of it, can be the result of many things but is usually the product of how we choose to think.
I am inspired by the examples of good thinking I see in your life, your blog, your family, and the people you have chosen as peers and friends. I am so proud of you.
We reinforce our ability to have good thinking and good attitudes when we observe, read, study, and embrace the diversity of life. A walk in the woods is a very special way to receive that sort of reinforcement.
On a reoccurring basis we must assist our quest to keep our attitudes healthy and growing. One tangible tool that, for me, serves to augment my attitude is a Hiking Stick.
Those trails with challenging footing are tamed a lot when you hike using a walking stick. A walking stick can also be used to move spider webs out of the way, to verify that there are no snakes or critters on the other side of a log which requires stepping over, to use in a pole vault manner when stepping over a wide stream or muddy area, as a pointer to direct fellow hikers to a point of interest, and to stimulate conversation (only applicable if it is a unique walking stick).
Every decade we live brings a new perspective and a required adjustment. It just keeps on getting better. Impaired mobility is only one of the challenges the maturation process presents as a burden. We learn to accept the value of getting help from our surroundings, our family, our friends, and pragmatic tools.