I sat down to write a blog about what I accomplished in 2022 and what I was looking forward to in 2023. It seemed like the blogger thing to do. The interwebs and social stratospheres are full of recaps, rewinds, and affirmations. I sat down and looked at the page waiting for the words to jump like they usually do. Instead I began to drift. The words didn’t come. Was it too many thoughts? That is something I haven’t been accused of before. Was it not enough? Will 2023 be a blank slate or a word jumble. Or will it just be another year?
Looking Forward Behind You
My mind was racing in a very slow way. Like the last piece of frozen ice on a spring lake. Slowly melting against the relentless heat of the sun. I thought of watching a mother and baby moose nursing on a trail. The sun setting over White Sands. My mind rapidly reminded me of every spring flower slowly waving in the breeze. A foot stepping through the ice on the edge of a mountain lake and the coldest water I have ever felt trying to swamp my boot. I can feel the sweat burning my eyes from thinking that hiking in Arches in August would be a good idea. I can still taste the best bar-b-q I have ever had in a small town in Utah.
When I closed my eyes I could hear my breath increase on a nameless hill, taking me to the greenest hillside I have ever seen where my breath disappeared again. The water falling from a cliffside just off the highway. The stories of the ancient Puebloan people living in southwest Colorado still bounce around my mind. How they lived and adapted to such harsh terrain and built their homes dug into cliffs, while I complain if the A/C doesn’t cool my place fast enough. I saw the stillest lake I had ever seen on a windless day in Rocky Mountain National Park. It may have been glass, I’m still not sure.
For the first time I volunteered for something I wanted to do instead of being volun-told to do something by a boss. It was an amazing experience and I met so many wonderful people. Being able to give back to the outdoors felt amazing after taking so much from it these last few years. I met so many wonderful people over the year. From the random encounters on the trail, to the social media friends, and new hiking partners. Obviously, I continued to use the oxford comma.
As much as I was able to do in the last year, I think my mind was blank while I looked back because that is what I remember the best. Not the trail but the quiet moment standing alone in an empty field with a soft breeze. Not the snow but the sound of my snowshoes in rhythm trapsing along. Well, maybe the sound of me swearing after falling on my snowshoes but you get the idea. Hiking allows my mind to go blank and that is what I remember. The beauty is imprinted on a blank canvas. It is hard to reach back and remember each step but each step is just as important as the final peak climbed. I remember the times that time froze in a moment.
Those moments of frozen time in the beauty of nature are what I will take from 2022. If I am lucky, 2023 will give me those moments again. Let me freeze time again. Allow me to stand in an open field in the soft breeze. Let the sun melt that last bit ice. Relentlessly calm. Hopefully, 2023 won’t just be another year but another blank canvas ready to be filled.
More from The Fatman
If you enjoyed this post you may enjoy more of the posts on my Fatman’s Rambling page. Blogs such as “Hiking Alone not Lonely Hiking“, “Winslow, Arizona” and “Screw it, I’m Trying” as well as many others may interest you there. If you have any comments or topics you would like me to cover, feel free to email me at email@example.com. Or you can keep the conversation going by following me on any of the below social media platforms.