Friday, March 13, 2015

O me! O life!

A little late with the New Year's reflections, but it's still pretty close to Chinese New Year so I figure I'm only kind of tardy.

Notable "firsts" in 2014:
  • My first mountain summit outside the United States
    It rained cats and dogs on me most of the time, but I loved every minute of it. Mt Snowdon kicked off my solo Welsh hiking trip -- and infected me with the destination hiking bug. If all goes well in 2015, I'll be on to two more international summits!
  • My first Sounders fan trip outside Seattle - to Canada! 
    There was a lot of unanticipated drinking involved. I had packed a nice little sandwich and nalgene bottle for the bus ride up to Vancouver, and was completely unprepared for the total boozefest that the 16-hour adventure turned out to be.
  • I swear, sheep can stand sideways. This one
    was in the Brecon Beacons on my toughest
    hiking day, which included 4 summits.
  • My first 10K!
    This experience also came with my first taste of GU gel at the halfway mark, which was kind of gross but did indeed provide an extra sugar boost. The course was completely flat, which helped.
  • First trip to Dallas
    I was at a conference for work. Got to see the JFK memorial and a few other touristy sights in downtown Dallas.
  • First time going to a roller derby match
    Or whatever they're called. The rules are still somewhat of an enigma, but it was still fun to watch a new sport.
  • First time camping on a beach
    Not just any beach -- the ocean! The Pacific Ocean!  Our campsite was mere yards away from the shore. A cacophany of barking seals kept us up all night. It was awesome. We had to hike three miles across sand during low tide  -- and then I actually volunteered to walk an extra six miles when we ran out of wine -- but it was worth it.
2014 was pretty cool. Here's to 2015 and the Year of the Sheep, and all the "firsts" in store!

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
                                       Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
                                             -- Walt Whitman