A good friend invited me to go hiking with her and her daughter on New Year's Day. We couldn't have asked for better weather - crisp but not too cold, and clear with a brilliant blue sky.
The hike went as hikes do with young children making all the usual stops - the rest stops, the snack stops, the sock-adjustment stops, the poop stops, the look-at-the-rock-I-found stops. I'd considered going on another group hike, which would have been at a much faster clip, but I was in a Zen state and content with the leisurely pace and preferred spending the day with people I love.
The route took us up the mountain to an overlook, across a ridge, and then back down the mountain in a loop. We set out early and as the day progressed, ran into more folks out enjoying the glorious weather.
At the top we sat on a flat rock for a snack. Shortly after we settled there, an older man and a young Chinese woman arrived. I'm guessing she was an exchange student and he was in the host family. He was talking to her very loudly and telling her all the words in her language that he knew and that his Chinese name was "Yomika" (Yo MY Kah). He told her, "Now I'm not a dirty old man, I'm just being friendly and I thought you'd enjoy this area. I don't want you to think I'm a dirty old man, we're just friends. Understand? Just. Friends." She looked uncomfortable, nodded and said, "Oh of course." Well. I've got news for you, Yomika. Anyone who goes to the trouble of insisting repeatedly that he is not a dirty old man is a dirty old man. Because obviously you were thinking about it. Normal men would feel no need to talk about it. Creeper.
Other than that, all was good on the mountain. Symbolically, I think walking a path and getting a new perspective is a good way to start a year.