My family, obviously. On New Year's Day I went for a long walk in the forest with my Dad and second Mom, PainterLady. There's this train trestle a good, I don't know, hundred or more feet over the river. It looked a thousand feet up. Those rails you see only extend about a tenth of the way out, and here at the beginning was the only place I could bring my camera up without feeling like my senses were too dangerously compromised. I don't know why PL didn't join me and Dad on the bridge with no rails or walkway that could have a train coming along at any second. I mean, the sudenly damp armpits, twisting stomach, and shallow breathing was so fun! Looking straight down past your feet through the ten inch gaps in the tiers was exhilarating. Well, they might have been only 3 inch gaps. Also, I suddenly remembered my adult onset fear of heights. And PainterLady was the only sane one in the group, opting out of the crazy idea to walk out on the trestle to check the view. It's hard to look at a view, anyway, when every nerve ending is screaming to get off the bridge you crazy woman! Still, I felt very alive and it was beautiful. The trees. Back on safe ground, we followed the tracks for while to where I remembered seeing some albino redwoods. I am pretty sure that trees are my spirit animal. Um, spirit... life form. Unless it's cats. I wish I could take my cats out to the public parks like people get to do with their dogs. Dad and PainterLady and I were all pointing out things to each other because there was so much awesome nature too see. Mushrooms, mushrooms everywhere, and trees that captivate so fully I think I walked right into PainterLady one time because I was looking up and not where I was going. The biodiversity. I can name hundreds of species in the vastly varying terrain we have around here, and not just that but I can telll you a little about each one's role and life, too. And yet I had never seen this lichen before. That's how rich the variety of flora and fauna is here. I will miss all of this.
I'm also excited beyond belief about the whole new life and world I'll get to explore in just a month. Tomorrow I hand in my letter of resignation. Wow, and I thought walking a train trestle was an adventure.