Today is my birthday. One used to be able to keep birthdays a secret, but with the advent of Facebook, nothing is sacred anymore and I can no longer pretend I never age. In general I don't get too worked up about birthdays. What would be the point? They're great if you're 7 and get to wear a paper hat, but once you're past the balloon and streamer stage, birthdays are mostly just good for getting a great chocolate cake for desert. Today was low key and wonderful (except for the 30 seconds after I realized I was now in my 5th decade of life which seems rather old to me). I feel okay saying that I am now 40.
On my 30th birthday I was hiking with my sister in California and she took this photo on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). As I used film back then (an ice age ago in digital time), this is a photo of the photo that has been hanging on my refrigerator (or various refrigerators) for the last decade... its intended purpose at the time still remains--to inspire me to hike (whether I hike the 2,655 miles from Mexico to Canada or not).
And today I went hiking with my sister again--and her husband and baby and Emily... in Colorado, and we ended up on the Colorado Trail. In 2002 I was dreaming of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (which I have not yet done) and in 2012 I was celebrating 40 years and the fact that I at least DID hike the Colorado Trail in 2003 (with my sister and dog Cassy end to end, 500 miles. Yep.)
Now there is a tiny niece and hikes have to be shorter and it can't be too hot and my life is busier. But I still get immense joy out of being in the woods looking at or climbing 14ers, watching for moose or deer or grouse, daydreaming through sweaty days and starry nights, and dreaming of long days and weeks and months on the trail.
40 years is the blink of an eye and there are still many more adventures to come. I have so many interesting things to do at the loom and in the woods and with my family. I am grateful and still very very lucky. Happy Birthday!