July 5, 2008

next decade, step right up

I am having, quite possibly, the most pleasurable 30th birthday I could have imagined. Sure, I woke us all up at 5 a.m. (having decided, the night before, that I had to get up before the sun to do the half-hike and get back in enough time to pretty up for lunch with Bon; I actually got up at 6:45) - but that aside, the day so far has been fabulous. Woke up (for real) to some very sweet written words from my love. Put on the clothes I'd laid out the night before. Took my brand-new birthday backpack out and got on the trail at 7:23 a.m. Logged 42 minutes to the tables. That was encouraging, since we had gone very slowly through some ankle-deep mud, meaning we did good time in the dry areas. I brought Princess Academy with me and finished the last third of it on a luxuriously long break at the tables while Kona explored the wet-leaved grounds nearby.

It's much different up there in the damp early morning. It's slower going up and down, of course - unless you're the runner who smoked us on the way up, and again on the way down, and again, on our way down, as he came up a second time. But it also smells, sounds and feels different - got to hear those morning valley sounds and smell the morning valley scents that I miss since I no longer live in Manoa. You're always warned about the Kuliou'ou boars that might get bored with their valley and wander up the trail (so unlikely, but so deliciously fun to freeze in your tracks every time something rustles the dry leaves as you hike. It's probably a foraging mongoose, but that's no fun to imagine.)

If nature's your thing, the halfway point is a great place to write. For some reason, I don't write well in "writerly" places like scenic nature spots or libraries. (I can go for pages at a coffee place, but I think sugary drinks have a lot to do with that.) I write on the go - napkins in the car, notebooks before bed, on my hand just before the lights go down in a movie. My thoughts are everywhere. It works for me - generation of ideas is most fluid when I don't have a specific place or time to write - but I do need a better filing system, and I DO need some sort of discipline that has me writing on a more regular basis.

Add that to a growing, still-pliant list of things this 30-year-old plans to take care of in the next 365 days.

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