Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Safety pins

I walked past a safety pin this morning and barely even had the urge to pick it up. While that may not sound like a significant thing, for me it is. I always pick up safety pins. They're insanely useful little tools--tools which, incidentally, have been around since ancient Greece.

I have several pairs of pants and shorts that always have a safety pin stuck in them specifically so I can pop blisters on long hikes. The safety pins are invariably a little scruffy because, even though I have many safety pins in my sewing equipment, these safety pins were rescued off the street by my fingers that are so unable to pass them by.

Until this morning.

I realize I don't need them anymore. I don't go on long walks through woodland and desert. I don't get blisters. I use more safety pins to keep my daughter's clothing in place than I do for emergency first aid. I've moved out of that phase of my life, and you know, I don't even miss it. I sort of feel like I should miss the hiking and the outdoorsiness; the backpacking and associated tiredness and soreness at the end of the day; the campfires and simple food that would seem so inadequate at home, made deliciously gourmet by hard exertion.

But I don't. I'm content with what I have. Hiking with a 2-year-old (especially one who insist on being carried) would be slow and irritating, not to mention potentially dangerous since she's not so good at hills and insecure footing yet. It's going to be a while before I want to have her near a camp-fire--unless she's glued to my lap and busy eating marshmallows and chocolate. I do look forward to the day when she's ready to be released to explore the wilder parts of the world. She's enjoyed our few short excursions quite a bit, and I hope further exposure will increase her enjoyment of the outdoors. But I'm content to wait, watching her enjoy the pursuits available in less wild settings, enjoying her prolonged infancy.

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