I sit on the porch of my cabin west of Trinidad, Colorado. I
look at my hands, the backs of which look like parchment paper wrinkled from
too much folding. I wonder, what caused my hands to get this crinkled look? Too
much sun? Definitely. I am a trout fisherman, a stream fisherman, a fly
fisherman. I love to ply the streams around here with my fly rod and catch and
release nice brown trout. Seems like I have neglected to put on sunscreen too
often. The sun reaches earth at these altitudes with much less impedance by the
atmosphere. I like to ski, the sun reflects off the snow and does serious
damage to the skin.
look at the Piñon and Ponderosa pine trees on my land. The Ponderosa are all
succumbing to the pine bark beetle. I am sad. I tried to count the trees once
on my meager six and a half acres but lost count. Now I will have to try to
replace all the lost trees. I have seen whole forests devastated by beetle
kill. I will never see the current number of mature trees on my property. Perhaps
my grandson or his heirs will.
wonder if my hands have shrunk to leave all this excess wrinkled skin?
Probably. Although I still chop wood and work out, I am sure my muscles have
I sad I am getting old? Not really. I treasure my years and feel better now
than I did five or six years ago. My father had a heart attack long before my
current age and had triple bypass. He died just six years later than my current
age. Will I live longer? Hard to tell. I am healthier, happier, than he. But the
vagaries of life can hit at any time, any place.
I sit on the porch of my cabin enjoying looking at the ever-changing sky, the
folds and angles of the foothills, and listening to the quiet interrupted too
frequently by kids on 4wheelers, gas well pumps and traffic on the gravel road.
But it is relaxing and wonderful here. I am alive and well with wrinkled hands.