If you follow my blog then you know that the trail often calls my name and nature for me is a way to escape a life filled with responsibilities and duties. From time to time bits and pieces of my life flash by me like the segments of an old movie reel. Black and white images, frayed and shaking against the backdrop, trying to hold on, trying to find their place. For a moment my strength subsides and I yearn to lower my shield. Exhausted from having to be so strong, I look for a break where my vulnerability can roam without the fear of harms way. To drop the responsibility and to set my inner child free that never got to see its childhood come to full terms. It was my Dad’s tragic accidental death at the age of ten which signifies the end of my childhood and the begin of adulthood that came way to soon.
Life as I knew it had stopped for me and I lost my hero and best friend that day. There was no professional help to cope with the loss and to this day I don’t think that my Mom ever realized how much my Dad’s death impacted my life. I’m sure she was trying to find her own way of dealing with the loss of her soulmate and now raising me on her own. I would like to think that overall she did a great job and I never got into any serious trouble and grew up with values, a great work ethic and manners. I wonder if that is really what it is all about because despite it being so, I never learned how to actually live and there are no schools that teach you what should be most important. Today and going forward my hunger to live more is greater than ever….
It was many years later that I realized that my childhood died with my Dad. In school I found it hard to relate to other kids and I simple had no place amongst the popular crowds. Not because I was “nerdy” but because I had nothing to share. There were no stories to tell, no adventures of what I did with my Dad last weekend and hearing the other kids talk, was nothing more than a painful reminder that I was alone. Eventually I avoided being around those scenarios and perhaps it was the beginning of my introversion.
I lost my place in society as the place it offered to me was too painful to be around. Every once in awhile a faint memory of my childhood emerges that somehow had vanished until that moment. As if it was hidden in a way to protect myself from the trauma of my Dad’s death. Maybe it is to be revealed now and maybe my adult self is ready to deal with those moments better than I could at the age of ten. I recall the silly times with my Dad, the carefree moments of just laughing and letting my soul hang loose without fear and constraints.
Today it is nature and the trail that offers that outlet to me along with a few very special People in my life. It is then and there when that inner child emerges and I hear the voice (literally) coming from within to play, to be silly and to be a part of what will become a lasting special memory. Urging me to drop life and all its seriousness for a moment and instead take as much time as possible to truly be alive.
Picture from my backyard “Lake Tahoe” ❤️