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Thursday
Jul132017

Flying Low and Slow, A Few Years Back…

By Bert Botta

One Saturday afternoon my buddy John and I were out running the trails that weave through the primeval Redwood forests of Mt. Tamalpais, in Marin County, California.                   

We were on our way to visit our friend Roger on one of the hundreds of deer trails that traverse the mountain.            

Roger lived in Muir Woods, a beautiful Redwood forest preserve in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA)            

He was a master carpenter and accomplished musician who built a beautiful redwood cabin where he and his wife lived.           

They lived on the last remaining homestead in Muir Woods. When Roger and his wife passed away, his home reverted to the GGNRA.           

Every Sunday he would open his home for a jam session. Many of the musicians of the day, names like Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and many others, showed up to jam with Roger.

As John and I descended the trail, we saw Roger working on the Greyhound bus he was converting into a luxurious touring vehicle for Neil Young, the musician.            

As soon as he saw us round the last turn in the trail, he dropped his tool belt and sprinted into the cabin to put on his running shoes.            

Two minutes later, he stumbled out of the cabin, lacing up his shoes shouting, “Let’s go!” He joined us on the trail for a beautiful 5 miler through the Redwoods.            

To me, he “took the time to make a connection” with us. That seemingly simple act of dropping everything to join us on a run somehow validated us as important people in his life.            

Roger passed away a few years ago. The cabin is gone. The music stopped. But these days, when I descend the mountain into the glen where Roger’s cabin used to be I swear I can still hear the sound of his “joyful spontaneity” resonating in my heart.            

I never forgot him. He taught me a lesson about the power of personal connection by “flying low and slow.”    

Every day, when I’m conscious enough, I attempt to “pay it forward” by slowing down and devoting time to those who cross my path.

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