31 August 11

White Waterfalls

Driving back from the Sierra on Monday — into the sunset, as we had driven into the sunrise; at least our reward was the green flash — we passed a Bridal Veil Falls. There must be hundreds of waterfalls so named throughout North America.

We had walked in 3+ miles only to find out we had way overshot our trailhead, and had to double back. We found our party — a group trapping an alpine relative of rabbits named a pika — and proceeded to follow them around glacial boulder-falls trying to photograph them. Two colleagues, two students: this was the perfect setting for photos that were to illustrate “training,” something I’m called upon to do a lot in my work. (Good thing, because they didn’t catch any pika, though we did see one and heard several.)

At some point during the day, though, it hit me. In earlier centuries, I’d be “going blind.” I used to have better than 20/20 vision, could identify a hawk at enormous distances, read roadsigns that would leave fellow travelers incredulous. Now the white waterfall descends on my right eye and will follow on my left.

I don’t mind, much. Not as much as I thought I would. For one thing it’s an easy outpatient surgery these days, but this is part of what it is, growing older. I shouldn’t expect to have the eyes of a 16-year-old, where something I spotted could cause Francisca to exclaim “Hay la vista que tienes, Dios te la bendiga.” No: whatever surgery they perform will never return me to those times. At this point, according to my opthalmologist brother-in-law, it’s all about minimizing decline. Gone, gone, gone beyond: gone beyond beyond.

Waterfalls. I have a new appreciation.

Posted by at 07:41 PM in Miscellaneous | Link |
  1. Yup, from here on it’s pretty much preservation/maintenance of whatever we’ve managed to hang onto this long. Which in both of our cases, is pretty substantial!

    RJR    7. September 2011, 12:21    Link

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