Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Apples, Oranges and Backpacks.....

I've always been lucky; looking back over my entire life, it's very easy to see how serendipitous events led me on a clear path over the years. Despite many circumstances most people would never choose, I can honestly say that I wouldn't change my life for any other that I have witnessed. That's sort of nice, being content....

When I tell people of the things that go on with me, they are sometimes fairly astonished at the level of good will the universe seems to deal me. While I can't say why this is for certain, I have come to believe that the connection lies with my desire and ability to be generous with what I have, whether it's times spent volunteering with a project, providing emotional support to my clients(I am a dog walker, but it seems the actual dog walk is only a small portion of the job), or recognizing a person in need of directions while walking down the street, and stopping to be available.

Once I began committing to this sort of interaction with others, I started to notice that my own life became easier - at least in some respects. It's also much harder, because I take a different path than one focusing on the acquisition of goods.... But that's a different topic.

The subway train is pulling into the station nine times out of ten is one example of how my life flows. "So what?" someone might think. But - if you use that train ten or more times in the average day, as I do(to travel between clients), that is not a small thing. I hear people complain all the time, about delays due to the subway. But I simply don't have that experience.

Whether the connection(between giving and receiving) is real, I can't say. But....I'm superstitious, and greedy! I don't want my good fortune to end, and so I keep stoking the furnace with acts of giving. The problem is - the more you give, the more you get! Of course, it's not apples for apples; If I hand out an apple, sure enough it will be that within a short time and orange is handed to me(hence, this post's title).

Then, I get that orange, and I feel obligated, because I have so many oranges, to give some of them away....As you can imagine, this will result in more apples arriving. Or some more oranges. Occasionally a pineapple or pomegranate, too.... Abundance.

So - it really was no surprise to me that last weekend I won a new backpack in the New Paltz Film Festival raffle. I actually did need one, although I kept telling myself that the one I have still has plenty of life to it. It does... There are some holes in it, and it never did fit my body quite right, but I like that pack, and it has served me well.

Still - it had gotten in my head, several months ago, that a new pack would be nice.... And so I began to look around a bit. The first thing I noticed was that I would not be able to afford a new pack. Sticker shock, accompanied by the need for a decent fit, made my old Lowe Alpine pack seem like it had plenty of life left. So what if it never quite fit exactly right. It almost fit perfectly....

When I got to the Film Festival, I had looked over my funds and allocated $10 to go toward raffle tickets. I was distinctly and consciously hoping that, if I won a prize, it would be a backpack. I certainly didn't need a new rope, having gotten one from Sterling for helping out at the JTree Goddesses on the Rocks event in April AND a second one when I volunteered last month for another GotR workshop in New Hampshire. I told myself that, if I won a rope, I would forfeit the gift and ask them to draw another ticket.

Now, I love winning as much as the next person, but I also told myself that, if I didn't win anything, the money paid was going to a good cause and that was, in and of itself, worth donating to.

....When they called out the number that matched my ticket, I couldn't believe I had won just what I had been hoping for. I double checked my number, worried I'd jump up yelling "Me!" only to find myself echoing another winner.... But, it was true, and I couldn't wait until after the event to go up and see what the pack looked like.

It is actually the quintessential climbing pack, the Phenom from Mountain Hardware - AND it fits very well! I field-tested it this last weekend, and felt like I was living in the lap of luxury; it molds perfectly to my back, feels compact and well balanced, and has great features. It's a much slimmer profile than my old pack, but it holds the same and more.

Well....now I owe the universe, I suppose. So this Saturday I'll be out at the Access Fund Adopt-a-Crag event at Peterskill, helping with whatever needs to be done and having an enjoyable day with other like-minded people.

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