Posted by: highmountainmuse | August 20, 2009

Time off


the Rio Grande Pyramis and La Ventana surrounded by storm clouds

the Rio Grande Pyramid and La Ventana surrounded by storm clouds; the peak of the mountain is hidden.

Summer is not the time for us to take a day off. 

And yet, we do think about it…

This year we tried.  One day.  Not to relax, unwind, take it easy, recuperate.  No.

We planned to hike the Rio Grande Pyramid.

For Bob, this would be the fifth time.  For Forrest and myself, a first.

My summer adventures usual end up only where I am hired to go. There is little time and energy for otherwise.  To date, no one has asked me to guide them up the Pyramid.  Good thing.  I’m not sure I could make it!

But I do want to try.  And no better people to try with than my boys…And chances are… once you try… the next thing you know… there you are.

HOWEVER… finding, or scheduling or creating a day off isn’t so easy.  Not for us.  Not in the summer.  Not ever, I suppose, as anyone with critters to care for knows.  Last week was our last big attempt to block out a day of work and fit in a day off.  And it would have worked, the timing was great and all the details worked out… except one.  A big one.  

Mother Nature figured we didn’t need to be on her mountain peak that day, and so we went back to work… Climbing the peak only to be stuck in the storm clouds would have been rather, well, for lack of more eloquent key word here, a bummer.

Now, we may try again this year.  I don’t know how or when we can fit it in, when things will work out to have others take care of Alan, of the horses and ranch and guests and all.  It would be a great adventure, a fun (can one use that word for climbing the highest peak in our section of the San Juan Mountains? I don’t yet know…) escapade.

But in the meanwhile, I learned a new lesson.  Or better yet, re-learned an old one.  I don’t need a day off.  I don’t need to go anywhere to enjoy time off.  I just need to take the time. A little bit every day.  And allow myself that time.  That’s the hard part, isn’t it?  More like, force myself.

So, with a quiet week here at the ranch and ditch work on hold and no outfitting appointments for a few days… I forced myself.  I took time to shovel manure and clean the yard.  Yes, I like that!  It looks beautiful!  I took time to brush the horses, sit out with the foals, take a zillion photographs of the babies. I took time to ride, alone, just me and my stallion. I took time to bake, to clean my house, hang the laundry on the line in the fresh late summer air, to do things I enjoy doing in the home and ranch and mountain I love. … I can’t imagine better time off.

How special does it need to be?  As special as we make it.  Even the simplest things.  They can be the sweetest, can’t they?



  1. Yup! Well said.

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