Thursday, 27 November 2014

Before I Die

I don't have a bucket list. Let's face it, I have already had the kind of life that most people can only imagine. I have terrific children, wonderful grandchildren. I am surrounded by people who love me, people who care for me. I've trod on the shores of the Beaufort Sea, stood in the sands of the Arabian Desert, felt the rush of water where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet, swum in the Caribbean, walked the beaches of Lido in the Adriatic and Brighton on the English Channel.

Travel is only a part of the wonder of my life. I have loved a beautiful woman, laughed with brothers and cried with sisters, heard the stories of my elders and shared them with my youngers. I've seen the births of the next generation and shared the passing of the last. I have hunted the giants of the forest and had them hunt me back, fished the wildest of rivers and the deepest of oceans. I've climbed mountains with nothing but a rifle on my back, and sailed the open Pacific in my own small boat. I have lived a life, the kind of life you could write a book about.

It is impossible for me to have a bucket list; I've done so much of it already, so much that so many can only dream of doing. Yet there are still things I wish to do, still things that entreat me into wishing. There are dreams that I have, dreams that I see so unlikely as fulfilling.  I cannot call these bucket list items; I would not be so proud. I would simply say "Wouldn't it be neat?"

Before I die, an event which will take place all too soon, I would like to sail across the Equator in a small boat. By sail, I mean truly sail, under the canvas, or more likely under the modern polyester of new sails. By small boat, I mean something not quite so large as the cruise ships that ply this route with giant engines and staff waiting hand and foot. I really want to do this as a sailor; there is no other way which really counts.

Before I die, I would like to fly up to and around the peaks of the Himalayas, and along the way to see the sights, sounds and smells of the Indian subcontinent. I don't mean a flight in a jet at 35,000 feet with these massive giants of tectonic force simply settling beneath me. This flight would be in a helicopter, close in, where the risk of a crash is, if not equal, at least threatening to cast and crew alike, where the buffeting winds of updrafting air shudder the encasement of thin metal around me.

Before I die, just once in my life I would like to feel the rush of endorphin that can only come with falling in love, the complete abandonment of logic and reason that can only happen when I meet someone who triggers every sense within me. I want to feel the meaningful lust and craving that comes along so rarely. I want to fall in love again, just once before I die.

It's not a bucket list. My life has been too wonderful to deserve a bucket list. I have done too much to need a bucket list. Still, there are a few things...

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