Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Day 281: Walking the Coastal Trail
One of the joys of living along the coast side of San Mateo county is the Coastal Trail. It runs next to the waterline of the Pacific from the town of El Granada virtually all the way to the Ritz Carlton Hotel ten miles south. It is ideal for biking and walking, and its paved surface is a pleasure to use. This week I've had some issues with my back, and my trusted chiropractor advised me not to go to Curves and bounce around for a while. Instead, I chose a long walk today along the trail. The sky was a brilliant blue and the tide was very high. At one point the white breakers crashed up onto the trail. Had I been a few feet behind I would have gotten a full wave in the face. I'm not as strong a walker as I used to be, and I was musing about aging and worrying about how much longer I'd be able to walk these trails. "Intimations of mortality" I think it is called. As I was pondering my own fate I caught sight of this lovely women, beautifully dressed in a bright red wool jacket and black skirt. At the moment I noticed her, her daughter, a women near my age, stepped forward and said: "That is my mother." I remarked how much I appreciated seeing her walking the trail with a walker. "She is 85 and fell a year ago, but she loves to be out walking." What an inspiration. I never take this trail and the beauty of the coast for granted. I stopped and had a chat with the red-jacketed lady who said: "I feel so grateful to be able to get outside. It is lovely here. We lived here a decade ago. I miss the ocean." I want to keep this image of her, leaning on the walker beside the sea.