Thursday, 2 November 2017

Paying Attention

Travel has always been inspired by my mother. It always starts with, "where do you want to go?" Then out comes the big tattered, worn atlas that has solved many mysteries of where things are in the United States and the next thing you know the route is getting planned. Being a big fan of driving to the point of wandering down dirt roads just to see what's there, is where half the fun lies in any travel plans with mom. She has given me the gift of curiosity and love of travel. Three days ago, was my mom’s 78th birthday.  A bitter-sweet affair, because it reminds me of a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, generous woman and mother...but she passed away almost two and a half years ago. That isn’t intended to be sad or morose, but just the same reminder I share with all of my clients. Life is short and fleeting, unpredictable and squirrelly.  Beyond anniversaries, I don’t spend too much time looking back.  It is painful and unproductive.  Instead, as a lifestyle trainer and coach on random things (very official title indeed), I just plead with my audience to always look forward. Don’t let your special people die in vain, pick up on the message they were here to impart, look for cues and tokens, pennies from heaven; they exist..I found one today...and carry it forward.

Looking down, I found this penny.  No big deal...just a penny.  It wasn’t free of course.  It came at the cost of walking to the “beach” at Russell park in Georgetown.  That’s right...I spent so much time talking up Cedar Breaks that I decided to spend a few chilly nights at Russell park, just to be fair.  It too, is wonderful and a bit more quiet camping, being tent only.  There is a somewhat beach, less the kind with sand you bury your toes in for a free foot buffing, more like crushed shells, not quite as inviting.  One can swim if so inspired, but more importantly I discovered, it has beautiful views of the sunrise and set, my two favorite times of day.  No back lighting from the great metropolis of Georgetown, means gorgeous panoramic displays of colors. Those hues lost by most of us in their subtlety while we are wrapped up in the stranglehold of our daily lives.  The millions of stars are pretty amazing too.

Back to the penny.  A penny found these days is somewhat unremarkable, rarely noticed in fact because the value of a penny is whatever was memorably placed on it when we were “doing away with it’s annoying existence” ten years ago or so.  Most pennies these days are disregarded equally as trash or a cigarette butt in a parking lot, even heads up and begging for attention.  Except I watch out for such things.  This penny was exactly that, heads up and begging for attention.  Something about it made me take a picture, because it seemed lonely, like a remarkable painting on a wall, all alone.

The date on the penny...Bingo.  1976.  I was eight years old that year.  That was the big time, I was a third grader…. lots going on, in the world and in my heart.  Jimmy Carter was president,  crushes on teachers, new neighbors moving in, the streets alive with energy.  Who knew then to invest in Steve Jobs and Apple computer, unless they were paying attention.

I look forward to the next year on the road with Abby and the Eggcellence and all of the opportunities to pay attention to things that I may not have been ready before.  Next year will be a bounty of learning and seeing and doing simple things and appreciating those things, because I will be focused on the lessons and messages.  I will take time to remember basic things forgotten, ignored or lost as well as people I might not have gotten the message they were intending to deliver.  I am very excited to witness and hear nature and people in action.  I thank Abby for being my new inspiration and partner for travel as I continue to grow in this next season of my life. Dang it, I just wish she would tell me where we're going!!

Happy Birthday mom!

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