My sister and I decided to go for a hike in the Gatineau Park this morning. We are very lucky to live so close to the Park with its rich ecosystems, wild life, and truly amazing vistas. We ended up at Luskville Falls, a pretty tough climb depending on what kind of shape you are in. It’s rated as “very challenging”, and I think I have to agree 🙂
Both of us are in decent shape, but being a number of years younger than I, she beats me in that regard. She has also had many more opportunities to climb recently than I have. Plus, she has all the latest hiking gear making her look, not only adept, but awfully cool.
I, on the other hand, decided that all I needed was a pair of solid, hard-soled running shoes, sunglasses, and a bottle of Gatorade, and I’d be fine. And I was, for a while. Climbing up 300 meters over the Eardley Escarpment has its challenges; it’s steep, and it’s rocky, and there are all kinds of obstacles to scramble over. You are essentially lifting your body weight at every step upwards, non stop, for at least an hour. But, aside from a thumping heart, it was fine.
My sister N, (how sweet is she), knows how to cajole me into doing things I don’t necessarily want to do. Every time I thought I had reached my limit, she would slyly suggest that we were “almost” there, not knowing that I could see her averting her eyes, putting me on. All that was missing was a carrot… “Just a few more feet L”, she would say. “You didn’t come all this way to turn around now; we’re almost there!!! You can do it!!!” And she was right, I could do it; we only had a few more feet to go; a little push and there we were. Huff and puff. 😉
And, holey moley, we were rewarded by the most amazing view of the Ottawa River Valley. Spectacular!
Coming back down was more problematic. Although easier on the thumper, it is extremely steep in some areas, and absolute focus is necessary to avoid disaster. Each step must be measured and considered carefully. Focus, focus, focus. However, me and my sister N always have plenty to talk about, and it’s easy to get submerged in a conversation and forget to pay attention to what we, ahem, (I), am doing. It only took a second but down I went, sliding on some loose stones, onto my.. posterior, spraining my hands as I tried to grasp something to hold onto. Not a big deal. I will survive. But, ouch did that hurt!
My sister N was beside herself with concern that I had hurt myself. She always has my back, that one, and it’s an awesome feeling. But although she may not know it, I have her back as well. I did after all change her diapers and rock her to sleep when she was little..
On our way back home my sister, who is an old soul but doesn’t know it, talked about the importance of living in the here and now. She talked about how things might be 10 years from now; how things could be so different, and who knows what might happen. We all had a rude awakening about that when our much-loved mother passed away so suddenly. As we busily go about our lives, we tend to forget that things evolve around us, people age, circumstances change. Perhaps deluding ourselves that life is a constant protects us from fearing the future. But the hard truth is that things do change. And it usually happens when you least expect it. Nothing ever stays the same.
So, lesson learned on the climb to our mini summit : enjoy the time you have with loved ones today, because who knows what tomorrow will bring. She’s a smart one, that little sister of mine. I am learning much from her.