Sunday was my 67th birthday—or, as my eldest put it, the 33rd anniversary of my 34th. Sixty-seven doesn’t seem old anymore. While my body certainly doesn’t work as well as it once did, pre-scleroderma, and my memory is no longer as sharp, I don’t feel old. Wiser, I hope. Seasoned, certainly.
To celebrate that milestone, and the fact that both Al and I are now fully immunized against Covid (at least the original version), we spent the weekend in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Decades ago, when we were first married, and later when our daughters were very young, we used to camp there for our summer vacation. I haven’t been back, since.
My inspiration for the trip was to see the stars from the Kancamangus Highway, which runs through the White Mountain National Forest. There are no interfering lights at night, and I can still recall the spectacular view from a visit more than 30 years ago. The weather, however, had other plans. It remained overcast throughout our trip, the sun finally breaking through on Sunday afternoon as we drove home.
But the day’s diffuse light cast its own spell, subtly revealing details otherwise missed. From Laconia’s lake shores to the Lincoln Trailhead in the White Mountain National Forest, from the Cog Rail part-way up Mount Washington to the Basin off the Franconia Notch Parkway, we immersed in rejuvenating beauty. As I reconciled myself to a birthday mountainside view shrouded in mist, the clouds suddenly lifted and we could see 80 miles. The perfect gift, and metaphor, after a long, long year.
Enjoy . . .