When I Die I’ll Be On Time

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“When I die, I’ll be on time.”
(Lumineers, Lyrics to Cleopatra)

I’m going to be  less “on time” for several events or activities, I’m not even going to show up at all for some others.

While hiking 300 km across Prince Edward Island on the Confederation Trail last summer, at about the halfway point we saw a sign indicating an obscure path into the woods off the Confederation Trail. The sign said, “Breadalbane Trail”.  I later learned it is a 6.5 km wilderness path the circles a small river with several small bridges crossing the stream. It is a community maintained trail on private lands that have been freely and generously granted for trail use by the owners.

It was a supprisingly delightful hike along the sloping banks of the stream taking one through enchanted spruce growths and several pine tree thickets where the years of fallen pine needles have laid down a thick carpet of pine humus which little else grows through. The open area underneath the pines calls for a hearty picnic.

“… beneath the arms of this noble tree I felt that I was safely home. Never did pine trees seem so dear.” (John Muir, Steep Trails)

I saw a plethora of fungus and lichens, things I have not observed for years. Many dozens of different jellies, slimes, and hard half fan fungi a foot wide protruding from the sides of trees. Birds, even Bald Eagles. There are several ingeniously constructed bridges crossing the small streams.

I purposely concentrated on hiking to enjoy the sights and sensory experience, fighting the urge to hike too swiftly or to snap smartphone pictures.

Here I slackened pace, for I drank the spicy, resiny wind, and beneath the arms of this noble tree I felt that I was safely home. Never did pine trees seem so dear. How sweet was their breath and their song, and how grandly they winnowed the sky!”
(John Muir. Steep Trails)

I hiked with my head up to absorb all that could possibly be seen, soaking up the whole sensory experience like a sponge.

I had invited a professor friend to come along. About half way we stopped and set ablaze my tiny wood gasifier camp stove, heated up hot chocolate, ate GORP with a healthy handful of my very own dehydrated  blueberries added to the mix, and some yogurt on the side.

The next time I hike the Breadalbane Trail I will hike the 6.5 km and then turnaround  and hike the opposite direction back, giving a nice 13km day hike.

It was all a very revitalising experience. I highly recommend it, much more interesting than the wide groomed Confederation Trail that gets quite tedious, not to mention that with little variation in the terrain and a constant walking gate can lead to physical repetition issues.

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The only pictures I took was of an old farm at the end of the trail at the end of this field, and the old abandoned house with borded up yellow windows where we parked the car.

I’ve made it a goal to get outside a lot this year. There has to be more time for living.

Simply put, I need to be less on time for useless or trivial things, “When I die, I’ll be on time.”

“You humans, so little in your own eyes. You are truly blind to your own place in the Creation. Having chosen the ravaged path of independence, you don’t even comprehend that you are dragging the entire Creation along with you.”

(William P. Young. The Shack. Sarayu, speaking to Mack)

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