Spring is in the air everywhere you look around here in San Diego. The vibrant swathes of purple ice plant growing on the sides of hills can be seen from miles away and the daffodils are already fading in some gardens. The burst of new buds are on the trees and we've had several glorious sunshiny days that have seen us at the dog beach in short sleeves and sandals. Our weather clearly had something to do with San Diego being named America's Finest City.
It was usually about this time of year, when these botanical events started taking place, that Phil would start talking with Jamie and then David about doing a brother's trip. Granted, when we lived in Washington, this conversation often didn't roll around until late June given our climate-challenged vegetation... But you get the picture. Once Mother Earth started to wake up from her winter slumber, so did Phil. He and his brother's had a tradition of hitting the high country together every few years to enjoy nature's beauty and get away from it all for a while. Mostly, it was an opportunity to spend deliberate, thoughtful, focused time together. No cell phones, no television, no women or wives or kids, no jobs or stress. Just three men and the mountains and the sky and their words.
These were some of the best times of Phil's adult life. These trips and his buddy trips. There was just something about men getting together in nature and sweating it out together that really spoke to Phil. He loved to push himself physically and to do that in a beautiful environment only made him happier and seemed to make the effort easier. Nature always had a hold on his heart and soul. Anyone who has heard him talk about Mt. Timpanogas in Utah or about Sundance in Deer Valley has seen the look in his eye. Even at our beginning, he courted me in Duke Forest and along the shores of Lake Jordan in Chapel Hill, on long hikes through the woods as we talked for hours about everything and nothing.
So it is fitting that his brothers are paying a tribute of sorts to Phil and their mutual love of the outdoors and fitness by riding in a fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma. If you haven't heard about it yet or would like to honor Phil in this way, check out their fundraising page below.
I hope you have many enjoyable remembrances of Phil and his lust for life as you experience spring this year.