Happy Trails

I set off this morning to Circle B as soon as all the kitties were fed and found. The problem with having a dozen cats (and a myriad of wild possums and raccoons) looking at you each day is that it can become such a vocation that personal life takes a back seat.

And with Finn not even half way through his amputation ordeal, the physical care and mental care has become all consuming.

So, finding a crack in the matrix that allowed me a couple of hours away on a trail was a genuine godsend this morning.

I got there just as the sun rose and there were very few people around. In fact I was on the back stretch when I finally saw some other humans coming in the opposite direction.

The trail I chose was the one that takes a long loop down by Lake Hancock and when I unthinkingly started down a different one, I changed course, which is how I ended up heading in the opposite direction to the way I normally go.

You could tell, I haven’t been doing as many shoots as I want to, as I botched up several good opportunities along the way. I also made the unforgiveable mistake of not bringing a lens cloth with me. So when I hit humid zones along the first half of the trail, my lens fogged up and I was left trying to use the inside of my shirt to recover.

That is rarely a good solution and certainly not when you are sweating into that same shirt. The sight of me this morning struggling along a steamy trail really reinforced my standing as an unprofessional photographer.

In any event, there were a few wins along the way and I have attached a number of the best shots at the end of the blog. I hope you enjoy!

It was when I was on the last leg of the trail that the thought for today’s blog hit me. You see, despite my failings and frustrations, being on the trail made me distinctly happy. I forgot all the pressures that have been mercilessly crushing me for the past few months and for a while it was just me, mother nature, and my sweaty shirt.

And regardless of how I moan about it now, I loved every step of the way.

Trails for me are happy places and so I found myself singing that old Roy Rogers song Happy Trails. Right now all you young folk are thinking how you never knew that the restaurant chain put out a song.

But strangely enough, before he licensed his name to be used by the restaurant, Roy Rogers was a big movie star who rivalled Gene Autry for the title of America’s favorite singing cowboy. Oh deer jeezez, you don’t know who Gene Autry is, do you?


Anyway, I digress. You see, the important lines in that little ditty, go “Some trails are happy trails, others are blue. It’s the way you ride the trail that counts, here’s a happy one for you”.

I have been struggling with the unfairness of life for a while, feeling appropriately sorry for myself and wishing life were different.

It is easy to indulge ourselves with self-pity and I am as guilty as most in that regards. But self-pity is a false god that only serves to distract us away from dealing with whatever isn’t going well.

When we get stuck in that mode we can end up spending more energy on moaning about the problem than fixing it. And no, I am not naive enough to think that all problems can be fixed. But I do believe that all problems can be addressed.

And at the end of the day, we are only human and all we can do is try.

It is difficult to accept that the trail we are on is tougher than those that others seem to journey on. We can talk about how the tough trails build character until we are blue in the face but the truth is each of us would occasionally trade a little character for a little bit of an easier trail.

We don’t get to pick our trails, it is mostly a matter of pure luck which trail we are on.

All we can do is ride them.

So, saddle up, ride it as best you can and sing a happy tune regardless. Because even if the tune is the only happy experience we have at that moment in time, at least it is a little piece of happiness that makes the trail less awful.

… just a thought!