Wednesday, 6 November 2013

My Pace

Snow has arrived in the high county, the Okanagan and Shuswap Highlands, home of the deer and moose, sleeping place of the bear, land of the spawning salmon. The round-topped mountains of the Monashees are wreathed in low slung cloud, threatening snow and delivering that cold mix of sleet that soaks to the bone here in the place of early winter. These are lands of mystery when the path of the sun has well passed the autumnal equinox and heads to winter solstice, hidden by deep snow and ice, protected from most of mankind, except for the hardiest of loggers and road builders.

My life has a different rhythm these days. Mornings are not an accelerated rush to the door, slamming into the truck and flinging myself at a cold, wet highway. It takes time for me to be ready, more time than a young person might expect. Certainly the older you get the longer mornings take. This is true for me even though I would not yet commit myself to aged and infirm. No matter where I am these days, I take my time in rising, not out of pleasure but necessity. I just takes me longer these days.

The road awaits me. The mountains will not move. The rain will stop but not for me, not simply because I am ready to go. All that is will continue on, whether or not I hurry myself or do things in what time it takes. Hurry is a game that takes too much time. Doing what needs as it needs, in a pace respecting that what which must be done, this is the way my days will go as I move my life forward.

This does not mean, not by any stretch of anyone's wildest thoughts, that I will not heed to excitement or anxious want, that I will delay with no plan or rationale. It does not mean I do not desire to move at a pace that must be kept. It means I have an increased respect for time, for the use of it and the loss of it. The moments needed to craft a word, to vision a phrase, these are the moments I have come to respect.

Today we, Kate and I, will drive through the mountains, starting in Sicamous, so named by the local natives because it is the place where "the river is squeezed between the mountains". It is where the Shuswap River snakes its way out of the upper Okanagan Valley and into Shuswap Lake. From here we will head east as ever I have done before, through the mountain ramparts, the cracks and crags, passing the heights, into the valley of the Bow and out to the cold, windy plains of Alberta. Then I will be home, at a reasonable pace, at my pace.

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