I love how the sci-fi/fantasy genre conveniently solves plot problems by having a spaceship, aliens, or struggling heroes suddenly find an all-powerful portal to pass through. After an hour or two of escalating trauma, everything magically works out. A wormhole in space transports the villains to hell, or the good guys to safety and love in glowing sunset.
Passing through portals of one type or another is part of life for everyone. We pass through countless passageways relating to time, space, physical and emotional growth. Though not as dramatic as a sci-fi blockbuster movie ending, the portals of our everyday lives are important to note.
For a person like my severely autistic son, self-reflection on life passages may not come easily. I don’t really know. It’s hard to formulate a question that he understands. It’s even harder for him to find language to articulate an answer.
I do know that he is powerfully affected by passing through thresholds. In the “bad old days” when we were nearly housebound (see the Home page), just transitioning from under his blanket to out of his bed, or from the front door to our porch, felt almost impossible for him. Even contrasting light and shadows became force fields that froze my son in his tracks. Loud sounds—or the sudden absence of sound—did the same.
Now I watch my son hike ahead on a trail, passing from a shady tree tunnel to a wide open hilltop with barely a hesitation. This increased threshold crossing ability is evidence of the countless sensory processing and development portals he has traversed, allowing him—and the rest of us in the family—to lead a freer life than we used to.
Tough challenges still abound, but we look forward to new discoveries as we continue passing through portals on our trail.
This week’s Hike Notes about Pulgas Ridge introduce one of the many wonderful open space preserves on the peninsula south of San Francisco.
Please feel free to share. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photos! Check the Home page for the broader background story.
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Hike Notes 71: Pulgas Ridge
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Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.