September 1, 2011

Soarin' Above It All

There is a ride at Disneyland's California Adventure Park called Soarin' Over California. It is an awesome experience complete with big-screen surround video of great California scenery, and the sensation that you are actually soaring over it all, seeing it live. They integrate smells of ocean air, smells of orange blossoms, smells of pine, great music and other sensations into the ride to incorporate all your senses. There is something about soaring that simply lifts the soul, and soaring over grand scenery, with great music and sounds and smells from the environment you are seeing is an amazing feeling.

This past two weeks I have been up at Lakeview Cottages at Huntington Lake, California. I have had some great days out on the lake fishing and watching the Osprey and Eagles soar over the lake, doing some fishing of their own. The winds come up the western slope of the mountains from the San Joaquin Valley and the Osprey, Eagles and Hawks up here just kettle for hours, soaring on the uplifting winds, soaring above it all.

When I think about soaring I think of being set free. I think of grand, sweeping, effortless movement through the air, and feelings of elation. Having visited Sue's grave at Inspiration Point Tuesday morning, I wondered if that's what it feels like for sick people who are released from their decrepit bodies. I imagine their spirits soaring free, unencumbered, elated.

I drove down to Merced Tuesday night so I could head into the office Wednesday morning to make payroll and do some month end check runs and reports. The nights up at Huntington this past two weeks have been moonless and clear, with cazillions of stars popping out of the black sky. The drive down was like a dream. No traffic, great views of the starlit sky above through my truck's "sun" roof, great views of the lights of the valley below. I played an Andrea Bocelli c.d. with the volume cranked up. Now that man has a pure, clear soaring tenor voice. The music just lifted me. I was soaring, elated.

When you soar you do not think of your troubles, if you even have any. You are above it all, in the moment, in the groove, and life is good. I saw a young African American boy, perhaps, 3 years old, walking along with his mother yesterday morning. The boy was cute as could be, dressed in jeans and tennies with a colorful button up shirt and a small red day pack on his back. He pulled his hand from his mother's hand and he literally bounced along the sidewalk, flapping his arms like a bird and beaming a great big little-boy smile, soaring in his own earthbound fashion. I'm sure the mere sight of him raised the spirits of everyone who saw him.

This is the feeling I get when I am in the mountains. Sunday I hiked to Indian Pools with my brother Jim, his girlfriend, Coreen, and Cheri. A bunch of guys took the soaring dive into the pool. Invigorating! Then, Tuesday morning a group of people hiked with me to the Grouse Creek falls. My long-time friend and mentor, Art Froese, jumped into one of the ice-cold pools at the falls. That sensation of ice-cold water awakens all your senses and sends you momentarily soaring.
This is also what it feels like to be in love. It was a year ago Friday night, here at Huntington Lake, that I proposed marriage to Cheri. She said yes. Falling in love, and being in love is an adventure ride I recommend even more highly than Soarin' Over California. It awakens all your senses and makes you feel truly alive. Soaring. Elated.

Go on! What's holding you down? Take off and fly!


  1. How quickly this year has flown by - for you, for many. It is good to hear that love has helped you to soar above the depths of grief to a new life, one I am sure Sue is glad you have found. Although I did not know her at all really, it was clear from the stories you both told that love was the guiding force between you and why wouldn't either of you want the best for the other? Like the Jewish New Year, L'chaim!

  2. Thank you, Sandy. L'chaim! To Life!