Burton and I were asked something the other night and my reaction was what prompted my title this morning. I will share the question at a later time. It got me to thinking on my walk yesterday about opposites. How can something be heartbreaking and thrilling? Defeated and victorious. Discouraged and hopeful. Timid and courageous. On my daily walks I seem to run the range of all of these emotions . Part way along the wood road it occurred to me that this walk gives me back so much more than what it requires from me. I must first of all embark upon it. Some days I almost pass on it. I almost give in to the urge to stay in my warm house and not bother. Even after getting myself out there sometimes I consider only going part way up the hill. Usually I keep going and do the entire route and I am always glad I did. The walk takes concentration especially when the ground is covered in ice. Each step is considered and I must remain mindful of where I am putting my foot as I proceed. I try to not get so caught up with my footing that I miss everything else around me. I often stop and gaze into the woods, down the hill , at the sky. There is one particular place where I can clearly see Chapin and Brianne’s roof and I stop myself there to get a good look at it. I look ahead and I look behind while at the same time looking down being certain of my footing. I watch the dogs bound ahead of me and run back toward me. I think about the possibility of wildlife lurking in the trees. I watch for tracks. Once in while the dogs bark and I wonder if they will run into an animal . I wonder if that animal will be a squirrel or something a bit more frightening. I don’t let thoughts of confrontation with wildlife deter me from my trek. I have given thought to the moose tracks I have seen hoping the large creature doesn’t chose to run across my path while I am actually there. So far so good. So what I am getting to is the effort is worth it. By the end of it I have been rewarded and convinced again of the value of the simple exercise of getting outside. I am always sad when it comes to an end. As I come out into the field and cautiously walk by the chicken shed, mindful of the nasty rooster that hangs out there, I am reluctant to give up what I have been privileged to receive just by showing up. Why is that lesson so hard to learn? Why do we have to be reminded over and over that life comes with two sides; the heartbreaking and the thrilling.