After some setbacks, 80-year-old Sydney Lea heads right back into the great outdoors.
Than ks to all you kind people for your reassuring words.If Sari will have me, you'll herar from me again. Stay healthy and active,
Reading this essay at 73 was like taking a hike with a friend who had been waiting for me at the trailhead. I’m not much of a hiker anymore but I can still climb mountains in my mind, and Sidney is such a good companion. I loved the acorn in the boot and the apt encounter with “Birches,” a poem for the old or old at heart. I’m not a weeper but this poem always makes me cry. Today these tears of gratitude were for starting my day with a writer who made it new again.
I had never heard of Sydney Lea, but as I read this piece, I was struck by how beautifully poetic his writing was. Duh. Thank you for featuring Lea and opening my mind to a little poetry.
I also made a mental note to think about how a sudden, catastrophic physical ailment can completely derail us. For Lea, it was the tick-borne illness. For my 92-year-old father (a world record holder master's swimmer), it was cracking a bone in his foot during a slightly off turn in the pool. It's like a sudden shock of awareness -- we were this, now we're this. Fear sets in. My father has never been in the pool again. I congratulate Lea on resuming his hikes, even if he has to sit periodically and admire the views.
Thank you, Sydney! My 79-year-old husband and I amazed ourselves by keeping up with "kids" as young as 62 on a hiking trip in the Canadian Rockies in late September. Oh, the exhilaration when you realize you can still embark on vertical treks, and the glory when you reach a summit and feel ten years younger. Then there is the beauty of all that is around, an early snowfall included.
I love reading oldster as a thirty-five year-old! This one has all the elements that draw me to these essays, even as I am in a different stage of life: a vision for what elegant aging can look like, finding beauty as we are inevitably forced to slow down, using reading and writing to process a life...thank you Sydney!
A beautiful piece, makes me long to go rambling in my (very different, topographically) corner of the world. When the atmospheric rivers and record-breaking snowfall finally stop pummeling California and the West Coast, I'll dig out my sturdy boots. I will not be so lucky to find an acorn waiting for me but the green hills will be their own reward.
Absolutely beautiful. The sense of fear around something you love — specifically walking — is something I can relate to. I was moved by both how this essay makes me appreciate what I can do now, at age 50, despite what I can’t, quite, and by the validation of what the future may hold, if I am fortunate.
That was oh so quite beautiful and I just want to say thank you for bringing me a vision of cyclic life. Beginnings and endings and all the glory and mess of the in between.
So happy to read these words from a beautiful soul. As usual, he's spot on. I llve the hikes I still can take at 66. I will cherish them more now.
I love this. It is so beautiful.
I sent it to my dad - it reminds me of him.
Heart-aching comes to mind - the beautiful, sad, funny, cruel, loving moments of life that cause the heart to ache.
Thank you sir! Your writing puts me in mind of the great Jim Harrison...a wonderful piece.
Sydney's a stud. Love this dude.
How wonderful! I wish to still be rambling through the woods at 80. If so, I will feel I have aged exactly the way I always hoped.
This was a particularly special one. Thank you. Widely shared.
Thank you, Sydney. I continue to try to get out in nature to "hike" and i am inspired by your essay to do more. I do walk when I play golf (Hate the carts) and that's about six miles for 18 holes. I'll count that. :) Thanks again.
What a beautifully evocative piece. Thanks for the inspiration, I am right there on the trails with you 😊