I hope you had a HAPPY EASTER! I thank God for all the blessings he has given to us and our families. Also, I want to thank everyone who greeted me a happy birthday last April 19. I am glad that because we have established a line of communication through e-mail, it is easier to get in touch and even greet each other on special days.
At the age of 81, I still feel excited on my birthday. I realize there are people much younger than me who keep their birthdays secret and dread each passing year.
But not me. I embrace my age. I’m proud to tell people how old I am. I believe the wisdom that comes with the years is the greatest gift one can get in this life. Every year gives me something to look forward to. I meet new people, confront more challenges, achieve the goals I’ve set for myself the previous year.
In a sense, birthdays are like milestones in a mountain climber’s quest for the summit. Birthdays allow us to pause and celebrate as one looks back at the progress we have made towards the attainment of a lifetime’s goal. Maybe that’s why I climb mountains. It’s not just for the exercise but for what the effort represents: a quest for a lofty goal that puts meaning into our lives.
Isn’t this what life is about? It’s not enough that we eat, work, and sleep. We need to aspire to something greater than ourselves.
I recently led a trek up Mt. Sto. Tomas in Benguet. Climbing with me are my wife Connie, our children. It’s an easy mountain, only about 7,500 feet above sea level.
But I never ever underestimate the exhilaration and challenges that mountaineering can bring. You need to bring the right equipment, wear the right clothes, carry enough food and water, and prepare yourself mentally and physically if you want to have a safe and pleasant experience.
If you do not respect the mountain, things can get dangerous. It is pretty much the same thing with life… as this 81 year old knows only too well.