Father-daughter bonding day! My dear papa took me on a hike way up into the rainforest to the water head, the source of all our irrigation. First we travelled on our mule, Rosie (the ATV kind, not the donkey kind). There were many electric fence gates to open, which I told my dad are just like the oblique cable exercises I do with Buffin, so during the whole hike my dad kept calling out, "Use your obliques!" I think he thinks it's funny that I know what obliques are.
My dad can hike through the rainforest kind of like a wild pig - he marches along at a high velocity while everyone else is usually left sinking into the bog. It's quite a challenge keeping up with him, especially as he's blazing through an overgrown trail, gleefully swinging his machete. When I was younger, and less fit and beautiful, I would often become very frustrated at the pace, the difficulty, and the many branches thwacking me in the face. This time, I approached it like yoga: how you respond to the difficulty of the challenge is what matters most. So when I stumbled on the terrain, I said, "Whee!" When I slipped in the mud, I giggled. When I sunk in a bog, I pretended I was doing one-legged squats on a bosu ball so I could pull my leg out without sinking further. It helped that our old dog preferred my pace to my dad's, and she and I helped each other over big tree stumps. We paused often so my dad could point out the water ditch, and what was built in the '30's to irrigate the plantations, and what was built by the state in the '70's, and what pipes lead to where, and how the water all connects on the back side of the mountains that you can't see unless you are intrepid hikers, such as we were that day. We made it to the top, and Dad cleaned out the debris from the valve and pipes, while I looked for native snails. We hiked back in silence, following the path we'd trampled on the way up, clearing more brush, listening to birds and one wild boar. We ate peanut butter sandwiches on the porch of an old cabin where the men who'd first maintained the water ditch used to camp. The fog had settled in by the time we drove Rosie back home, and I felt very grateful that I have a sweet dad who is so spry, so knowledgeable, and who sets a good pace so I can see what is possible in this life.
Naughty FLOG; 1 Bloody Mary, relished from my seat in first class. Thanks to my Uncle Tim, and to the universe for re-paying my Sarah Robles first class karma in kind.