Among other things...
|The boy favors a four o'clock carry, the girl is appendix all day every day.|
After the first quite early snow of the season, late summer heat has returned and playing outside in the morning is just the bestest thing in the world! Hard play can lead to a bit of pre-lunch crankiness of course...
Mule Deer in the treeline.
Back at the beginning of summer Alex jumped on me pretty hard about using sunblock. Ranchers spend so much time outside that they are at high risk for developing skin cancer. I pooh-poohed the notion. I've been doing this for decades, I pointed out, and no skin cancer. That's not the point at all, she countered. She got pretty cross with me a time or two (or a dozen). I'd come home from work and get a big hug, then an immediate flaming.
"I can't smell any sunblock!"
"Um, it's odorless? It sweated off? The sun got in my eyes?"
We kind of agreed to disagree. Pretty much. Sorta.
She was out of town for 10 endless days in June, and it was during this time that my gut was disappearing fast enough that I felt comfortable working without my shirt on. The cows didn't seem to mind, and there were no hoomins to notice my girth. When she came back she liked the tan. "That's WAY better than a farmer's tan!" She agreed with me that you can't die from everything, but insisted on closely inspecting me for sun-caused blemishes. Which was something I could live with!
This afternoon I ran into a bit of self pity and impatience. I had fence to work on but decided to pound myself silly with a short hike and much hill running. Stomping along toward Vader Hill I espied a Cardinal Jumper ground hunting.
My route toward the healing hill took me through one of the canyons hard on the south side of I-80. I'll never walk that canyon without flashing back to walking it with my Sun Queen. It's fun to look at what nature does with erosion and try to suitcase in my mind the timescales she works in.
The view, the feel of the air, the slant of the sun. The combination of effort and pain and fatigue. The green. Smoky overcast. Exertion endorphins. Pain endorphins. Emotional endorphins. Spiritual endorphins.
I did thirty hill sprints, called it good, and started to leave. Beautiful vista. Fall-greening prairie. Skunkbush sumac. Allie.
But it wasn't enough. The pain and rage of loss were still worming through my guts and my soul. I did 41 more. The sprints became staggers. I developed tunnel vision and saw stars. Hot September air roared in and out of my lungs, parching mouth and throat. My heart pounded and pounded. I hit 180 beats per minute on the heart rate. My leaden legs became harder and harder to move until the effort became impossible. But not quite. There was plenty more in the tank. There had to be, I was two miles from the pickup.
The process of combining physical exertion, driving through physical pain, and working through emotional upset is a soothing balm. It's very hard work on all fronts, but the effort pays off in so many ways. I am so blessed to be able to this.
Later it was time to get rid of an old twin bed and fetch a new one. After the pounding workout one would think that I'd be ready to put the chore off until tomorrow. But no, I was fresh and strong and felt good. Moving frames and mattresses was child's play. And satisfying to accomplish. Company coming this weekend. Life is for livin'.
Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.