A shout-out to Gondola Joe

I’d like to send a shout-out to Joe at the top of the gondola. Do you know Joe? He’s the guy in the grey shirt, face concealing black mask and large dark sunglasses.

If you see him, tell him the woman in the face concealing blue mask, large dark sunglasses and white baseball cap says thanks.

I know you won’t be able to recognize him, and I know he won’t know who I am, but it’s cool. We are all masked strangers.

Joe helped me be an adventurer today.

I rode up the gondola with the idea of walking back to town. I had no specific plans and no trail maps. Just me, setting off without a clear idea of what would happen. I’m trying to embrace the concept of adventure and spontaneity, but it is harder than it looks.

Even with Joe’s helpful suggestions I felt like an explorer setting off into uncharted territory.

Well, at least it was uncharted to me.

There could have been mountain lions or angry moose. There could have been coyotes. Even worse, there could have been wild unmasked individuals.

I gathered my courage and set off down the hillside. Legs striding, arms swinging and singing. Yes, I did sing, but not in a way that anyone could recognize the tune. When I sing even I often can’t recognize the tune. I hear it as one thing in my head, but when it emerges from my mouth something truly unrecognizable occurs.

But the singing was a symbol of freedom to me. Independence, strength and the acceptance in my own inability to carry a tune.

I owned it all.

And the walk wound through beautiful Aspen trees and past tranquil ponds. There were wildflowers and scudding clouds. And lots of quiet.

I had the satisfaction of placing my feet on that quiet path.

Tomorrow there will be questions and struggles. Failures and disappointments.

Tomorrow I might let my fears drive me.

My anxieties will define me.

My insecurities may choose my path.

But today I was strong.

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