It was a grueling race and I needed to slow to a walk on a couple of hills but all in all a great track and a good run. I finished in the middle of the pack 122/260 and won my age group. Good thing I am getting older and most of the competition is getting younger. I said ” if I can still do this at 70, I should still be able to do a lot of things.
The remainder of the day was spent with my favorite person; my beloved in one of my favorite places. I think we like Canmore so much because we don’t have it every day, every week or even every month. There is no familiarity that breeds complacency. We saw new sites and spent some money on hats and a gift. One of our haunts had elocated to a new location but we passed their vacant digs first and were disappointed that it wasn’t there. Finding it a block north was like finding it anew. The streets of Canmore were busy on a cool Saturday afternoon and coffee at Beamers was delicious and entertaining. The international crowd; young travelers passing through the mountain parks or those that are working their way across North America and are spending a few months here seem to pick this crowded little shop. The buzz of accents and foreign languages are always uplifting. Three young guys, speaking German approached the counter and I didn’t hear there order but the question ” do you want whip cream with that” needed translation. I am not sure if he was satisfied with his friend’s version but I hope he enjoyed the topping on his cup.
After 40 years there is lots of familiarity between myself and my partner. We grew up together and were married very young. She supports me in all the craziness that is my life and all the stuff that I want to try. She was cheering loudly and snapping pictures at the race and was at the finish line with water and a congratulatory kiss. She ‘mothered’ me enough to make sure I had enough water, stretched and cooled down and then refueled with food and fruit from the race tables. It isn’t a control issue, she just loves me and knows me. She also knows that if I feel like I am being ‘made’ to do anything, I can dig in my size 9 1/2 shoes up to my heels and stubbornly ignore even the best of suggestions.
While the storefronts change and the inventory is different or even if we are strolling an avenue together for the first time, there is a camaraderie, a rhythm and an easiness that comes from 15000 hand-in- hand walks we have shared. We offer each other sensitive feedback on whether some garment or toy works or is a good buy. I make decisions easily so her advice usually tempers an impulse and I can be honest if I think something makes her look like her much older sister. We both ended up with new hats that we were told ” You guys rock those hats” so are pretty confident about the choices. Although the compliment did come from the staff at the store so she maybe had an ulterior motive.
When we are together, we don’t often finish each other’s sentences because most often we know that we are thinking the same thing. In some ways “we share a brain” and are so completely in sync. People who know us recognize the rhythm, but also would say that “you guys are so different from each other”. It is in the knowledge that we have history, ups and downs, shared victories and losses, and the confidence to say what needs to be said that we are free to see the world so differently. I see big pictures and am destination focused. Without her I wouldn’t see the beauty and curiousity of nature and would never have found Beamers with my nose. We compliment and tease, we keep the other in mind when making decisions, we live independent lives, and we work hard every day to continue to live happily ever after.
In the consistent and in the unexpected we share our joy and sorrow and in the differences we learn and are challenged to learn. Somehow sharing live together, this way brings fulfillment and in our daily appreciation of these blessings we acknowledge how fortunate we are to have found the other.