Colleen Hannegan

Finding the words....and the perfect pair of glasses.


Imagine All Those People, Living for Today...

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photo by Al Patterson

photo by Al Patterson

When I got out of bed this Sunday morning, I never IMAGINED I would be building a little snowwoman at 3,200 ft at 2 p.m. this afternoon.  After brunch, I talked us into a walk in the wilderness park just outside my partner’s condo. The rain had cleared for a bit,  bright- blue sky was bursting through huge billowy cumulus and a bit of exercise seemed like such a good idea to combat that extra waffle I could not deny.

Freezing wind was no match to our relaxed Sunday attitude, or our clothes or my crazy laughter at Al’s face barely visible through his zipped up hoody. I cannot recall EVER feeling so cold, taking a walk in the park on a sunny Southern California day. We turned our backs to the wind after 50 paces and laughed our asses back toward warmth. As we faced the backdrop of the Saddleback mountains heading back to forced heat, we were looking at snow capped peaks for miles. “How would you like to take a drive up the Ortega (Hwy.) to Blue Jay campground and see if we find some snow ?” Both of us long for any free time in nature, by foot, by bike, by truck. There’s always this weird “what if” conversation that precedes the  going.

We went through the usual decision making….”Do we really want to leave the warm condo today?” “What if the roads are closed?” “What if there’s no snow?” “Are you tired?” “Are YOU tired?” “Are we TOO tired?” “What about this?” “Well, what about THAT?”  ”Do you want to go?” “Well, do YOU want to go?” “I just put new tires on the truck yesterday so let’s test them out!!” Goodyears made the decision for us. Adventure it would be.


photo by Al Patterson

Yesterday I finished reading Martha Beck’s brand new book, “Finding Your Way in a Wild New World.” She teaches all of us “wayfinders” that our “wayfinding Imagination runs on fun, not stress.” What I’ve been really good at these past 100 years is working really hard. Now I am learning the joy, the ease, the GIFT that is my Imagination and learning to have FUN, creates a life worth living, more than a life created through hard labor. “The wayfinder’s puzzle-cracking Imagination isn’t the conscious mind at work, but the subconscious mind at play.”

Today was a good day to play in the snow and even build a snowwoman. My Imagination took me there today and along with it, happiness, love and laughter came along for the ride.

I piled big heaps of snow on the truck windshield and smiled like an 8 year old all the way back through the Ortega, watching it melt and fly off piece by piece.

"Do you think we'll find any snow up there??

Note to Martha….”Thanks for writing the most inspired book I’ve ever read. It will require a second read from me to be sure I really absorbed it all. And yes, I have met my rhinoceros (a couple of times) and it absolutely is healing my life!”