I enjoyed a surprisingly good day on Monday, which was almost, effectively, an extension of a good weekend.
Of course, I worked overnight, although I had the rest of the day off, which was a mixed bag. Did not make the money of working during the day, but felt better rested, and got to spend extra time with my son, which we put to good use.
He got back from school, although he seemed unusually down. Naturally, this made me feel for him, and I wanted to do something to lift up his spirits. Believing in the power of regularly plugging back into nature, into our wilder sides, if you will, a hike seemed like something that could definitely help. Usually, he resists me, and shows a decided lack of desire to go.
Yet, once we actually go on the hikes, his spirits always seem to lift! He picks up rocks and minerals to add to his fairly extensive collection. Sometimes, he picks up shotgun shells from hunters, which he also collects. This time around, he found a live one for the first time, although he was a lot more thrilled by this than I was, admittedly.
Almost as soon as we got to the woods, my son seemed preoccupied with something, staring out hard into the woods. Turned out to be a bear, not all that far off, and so I tried to get it on video. It is not the best quality video, admittedly, but it does capture the bear fairly well. You can take a look at the video attachment below.
Anyway, we started off the hike, and very quickly, my son found some of those shells, including the live one, which again, thrilled him. Already, his spirits seemed to be lifting.
This was the first time since my bout with sciatica earlier this year that I was really trying a more difficult hike than what I restricted myself to in April, which is a mostly and modest flat hiking trail along a lake over at Pyramid Mountain. It felt good to be doing a bit more of a strenuous hike than anything that I did since way back in February!
At the end of this particular trail are some beautiful waterfalls, which usually, I make a point of taking my son to at least a couple of times a year or so. My son really enjoys it, and especially seems to enjoy climbing the rocks, although the way that he does it makes me feel nervous.
Still, he was having fun, and I did not want to ruin that, given his foul mood earlier. He explored for more rocks and minerals, and/or more shells. Also, he likes to play around with the running water, which has always been a source of fascination for both of us. I stayed down below, looking up at the waterfalls, and enjoying the peace and tranquility. This is one of the relatively few spots in New Jersey that I know of where you do not hear car traffic, or really any major noises. It is quiet, and you can think, and feel yourself breathe. Also, it feels clean and pure, and it felt like I could just sit and stay there, watching and listening to the water crashing down on the rocks below. Running water and fire both have hypnotizing power over people, and it seems my son and I are no different.
It was all very pleasant, and this was good, clean, healthy fun, as they say. This does not cost more than the gas it takes to drive there, and if it was close enough, I would walk here. But it meant a couple of good hours away from the outside world, at least for a little while, and both of our spirits were lifted after this.
However, it was getting late, and we needed to start getting going. And so, rather regretfully, I got up, climbed the rocks myself, and let my son know that it would soon be time to go. We walked back, and the overcast day had by then turned sunny and bright, even though the forecast called for thunderstorms and rain later. We got lucky.
Yet, luck would be especially strong for my son later. We got to my parent's place, where my father had just gotten out of the medical place that he was staying at for a while after a scare. My mom had taken my son there with her a couple of days earlier for a visit, and apparently, he had made friends with one of the older women there, who was visiting her husband. He had made enough of an impression that she thought it would be good to bring a computer notebook to give to him as a present! She had apparently gotten it for her family for Christmas at some point in the past, but the family had not had use for it, so she had a couple of them just lying around. She thought my son could make good use of it, and this was a tremendous gift! We were all extremely grateful for it, and I hoped it would help for his school work!
And so, it wound up being an incredible day! We wound up reading together, which is one of the very best ways to wind up a day, I think. Like the hikes, it is quality time spent together, and is helping with school.
At the end of the day, I felt extremely grateful and ready to count my blessings, and just thought this would be worth sharing here!