Royce Shook

9 months ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Sliding to the Beach

I was aimlessly wandering through the Facebook posts I have saved, and I saw a video of young kids sliding down the stairs through boxes. The cardboard boxes were meant to make sliding down the stairs more fun and appear to be more dangerous to the kids. I've been thinking a lot about that chance view. As I watched my mind sprang back to the winters of my youth.

When we were young, my brother and I would hike about two miles to visit friends who had a big gully with a creek running through their property. The area in question was far away from any houses and in the Spring and Summer, you could not get down the embankment because of the Blackberries and other bushes. However, in the dead of Winter, the banks were filled with snow and we could use them for cardboard box sliding. Every year, I think from about grade 4 to grade 9 we would go and find steeper and steeper places to go down. No adults were about, and we had a great time. Looking back I understood that the bank was not really that steep and not that long, but when I was young, I believed it to be both.

I had not thought about those adventures for many years and I realize that I hope my grandchildren get to have these life adventures. Adventures where they face imagined dangers and overcome their fears to face the adventures head-on.

Once again, I am reminded of that time. The limits that ageing, and now the pandemic, impose in various ways. I hear the clock ticking and I wonder about my friends who have lost many of their physical abilities and do not live a pain-free life. I live with chronic pain and some days better than others, but the pain does not stop me from doing or dreaming of the next thing to tackle.

What I know is that some of my friend's miss is the feeling that there will always be more. More days of travelling, meeting new people, trying new things. Adventure. Freedom. Limitlessness.

Some of my friends believe that the ship is sailing, and they are not on board. I am on board, but I sometimes wonder how long will it be before I cannot be on board? I wonder will I be standing with them on the beach? And when I am on the beach, will I be looking out at the adventures I have lost like my friends are, or will I be looking around for the adventures I will find on the hill on the beach? I hope I will be looking for a new adventure on the hill and that I will be able to get my friends to come with me as we tackle one more slide down to the beach.

Sliding to the Beach

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