My oldest sister just had a brush with death. She has been having health problems for some time now, culminating in the discovery of two large tumors in her lower abdomen. The thought was they may be cancer, but as it turns out they were benign. She has some complications but is recovering at home with the help of her husband. Some would say she got a new lease on life.
My other sister had a bout with breast cancer not to long ago. She also recovered, but it could have been much worse. My grandmother died of cancer and two of my uncles had limbs removed due to diabetes. Quite a family history.
As I get older, I have started to think about how short our time really is. I went through a stage of depression and deep regret, followed by the realization I needed to change the path I was on. I feel like most of my life so far has been a waste of precious time. I spent years in the pursuit of “things” only to find they can be taken away in the blink of an eye. I have lost everything I own twice in my life. Once was my fault, once was not. When I started working at the company I just left, all I had was my clothes and my dog. In a way, it can be a good thing to lose it all as you can only go up from there.
I think I know what I want out of this life now. The things that stand out in my memory, are all very basic. A morning I woke up at sunrise on Tumbledown Mt. I swam in the pond, had a great breakfast and watched the birds fly by. A hike in the woods with my dog as he sniffs at everything. A swim in the lake at daybreak with no one in sight. Sitting alone on the rocks at Fort Williams park in Cape Elizabeth. Most of my best memories revolve around nature and solitude. I feel I should have been born in the early 1800’s. I would have taken two horses and a dog and headed west. There’s no doubt in my mind I would have been “Jeremiah Johnson” or “Grizzly Adams”.
So now I start my quest to achieve the life I have so long been denied. Partly due to circumstances, partly my own fault. I was so caught up in modern life, I forgot what it was that made me happy. I need to be mobile. I need to see new places. I have traveled the country by truck, but you cant stop for long at any spot. All I got was good pictures to remember them by.
I will remember this day for the rest of my life. I crested a hill, and drove into this valley. I pulled over and got out with my dog. We walked into this field and I just cried. It was the most beautiful spot I had ever been to. I could see me building a cabin and living there alone for the rest of my life. It truly was magical. Even now, that feeling comes over me as I write this. I know now what makes me happy, and it’s all free.