“Omagod, omagod, omagod!”
My hands gripped the steering wheel, knuckles white. I was coming down the mountain at what looked like a 40-degree angle, entering a hairpin turn on shiny, white, snow-packed ice. I could feel the wheels of the Rodeo slipping toward the edge as I fought the urge to slam on the brakes. I had the four-wheel drive locked in and I was in the lowest gear I had, but it still wasn’t enough to keep from sliding.
I had texted Bear from the parking lot at Ruth Station, sending him a photo so he could see how much snow was still on the ground.
The last message Bear sent to me was, “Don’t die.”
Now it looked like I might.
At the last possible moment, mere meters from the edge, the Rodeo found the sweet spot and straightened out. Relief filled my mouth, tasting of clear water. I should have been paying more attention to the grade of the road on the way up. I wasn’t trying to be reckless.
I just wanted to be living.
I’ve been thinking a lot about living lately. Well, maybe not living so much as quality of life. Wondering whether I have any. I’ve had two sleep studies done in the last six months. Obstructive Sleep Apnea – I knew I had it, but I didn’t realize how far reaching the effects.
I suffer from 80% of the conditions on this chart. So far “Death” isn’t one of them, but if I don’t do something, it will be.
In the meantime, what am I doing to ensure the life I’m living is all it can be?
It was time to leave the comfort of home, get back to the forest.
I had plans to go out with Jaki later in the week. I had plans to go out with Santana sometime next week. But this day was for me.
Sometimes, you need silence to hear your heart.
I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. The sun warmed my shoulders, and the sky was a brilliant blue. When the road narrows and turns to dirt, I am breathless and exhilarated. This is my religion, my place of worship.
I stop for trees.
I stop for rocks.
I stop for a look at the city on the lake from above.
I stop to watch a Dark-eyed Junco forage in the gravel.
I stop for rocks and moss and spider webs on branches.
No matter where I stop, I am elated–to be here, to be free, to be alive. I needed this reminder.
There is active logging on this road.
The scent of destruction is sweet, sweet in the way a mint leaf is strongest after being bruised, or a flower when crushed underfoot. There is beauty, even in death. I’m just not ready for it yet.