In an effort to hang onto my few, remaining marbles, I am an avid walker and hiker.
(The reader will take note that this doesn’t always work for me, yet I press on. If I can’t become saner, at the least I will shoot for less jiggly thighs.)

Sometimes a vastly annoying pebble will hop into my shoe on the trail, but I don’t want to do anything about it because my app is running and I’m trying to beat my pr (“personal record,” for you couch potatoes). There is a “pause” feature, but it somehow manages to add the time on anyway: “You really believe you’re going to get away with this water break? No water for YOU!”– the Soup Nazi in my hiking app.

Now, probably because I haven’t been able to control much during this season of my life, IT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO ME that I control– and conquer!– my pr. So this morning the little stone and I were limping along cursing at one another because I stubbornly refused to stop and free it, when suddenly, as often happens, it found a comfortable niche in the shoe and settled the hell down, no longer causing me woe.
Now everything was rainbows! I was able to smile at the woodpeckers and chuckle at the cottontails and tear up a little at the sight of the wide-eyed fawns.

This made me think.

On Friday evening, the beginning of our three day Memorial weekend, our youngest RADish ran away from home for the third time in three days, this time simply because he did not want to take his bath. If you are rolling your eyes and saying “because Caillou doesn’t like baths,” you are on the wrong blog, trust me. This is a 12 yr. old we are talking about, one you could put in “time out,” remove every privilege known to kid, spank for hours, and probably fucking waterboard with absolutely zero improvements in the behavior department; a soon to be junior higher who flew into a rage, kicked his father hard, threw some metal thingamajig he found at me (I seriously must look like a bullseye– why is he always throwing shit at me?!), then busted through his window screen and leapt right out like Bruce Lee. We looked and our kindly neighbors looked and finally the police looked for him as well.

The little acrobat didn’t return home until about 1:45 a.m., then hubby flagged down the patrol car to let the officers know, and they wanted to come in and talk to our lad. They tried, bless them, to put the fear of God into him, but… good luck with that. Anyhow, he finally curled up in his Spiderman comforter and fell asleep. The next day we found him playing quite lovely music he had composed on his keyboard and recorded, while sitting criss-cross-applesauce on his bedroom floor, calm as Buddha, and happily playing Yu-Gi-Oh cards with one of his brothers. One would wonder, was it all just a nightmare? What did I eat last night?..

and this is how it often goes with hiking pebbles and with RADishes: one moment they are causing me to wince (or weep) in pain, yet I am determined; I don’t stop, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and the next thing I know they have found their safe little niche to curl up in, and all is right with the world and there is music and there are unicorns, maybe, and now I don’t even remember any pain– what pain?!

–so I can just carry on, and with a happy little bounce in my step, no less!

Touching the ultimate dimension, we feel happy and comfortable, like the birds enjoying the blue sky or the deer enjoying the green fields. We know that we do not have to look for the ultimate outside of ourselves- it is available within us, in this very moment.  Thich Nhat Hanh


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