The Charlie Bravo Story

Four times

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing -George Bernard Shaw

Every one asks about the Casa’s fascination with the Zia, the symbol most commonly seen on the flag of New Mexico. The symbol is a circle that has four groups of four lines, extending from the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the circle. … The circle in the middle of the rays ties the rays together to represent love and life. The four groups of four rays represent:

The four points of the compass
The four periods of the day
The four seasons
And the four periods of life: childhood, youth, adulthood, and old age.

I would suspect that the majority of the followers of this page would put themselves in the third or even the fourth categories, and this can be a bit depressing, as this is where I see Charlie beginning to enter this phase as well, and I don’t like it one bit.

But there’s another side to the story.

If you break down the times of life a bit further, you will find much less separation between the four periods and much more blurring of the lines; instead, consider this:

1: birth, play, imitation
2: self discovery, enterprise, adventure
3: dedication, contemplation, benevolence
4: retirement, wisdom, renunciation

While the passage of time may tell us that we are in category three, it’s possible to roll back the clock if we continue to involve ourselves in discovery and adventure. Or even further by remembering to play occasionaly, or not fearing the experience of rebirth.

When Charlie and I found each other, we were both badly in need of a rebirth; she due to her experience with the crate, and I because of the life-changing motorcycle accident coupled with a soul sucking job in korporate Amerika. We recovered together, and the last six years have been filled with a mix of adventure, discovery, play, dedication, while still striving for the wisdom and benevolence.

But not retirement; we ain’t ready for the rocking chair just yet.

So, now we just have to change our approach; instead of 10-12 hours in the saddle at a time, Charlie prefers now an average of 3 to 4. Although I still love to pull the big miles, spending this time with the Charles is more important, so I’ve had to dial it back a notch and put her needs above my wants.

But as long as we make time to explore, to play, maybe even dedicate ourselves a bit more towards contemplation, we can slow down that passage of time. Then when it’s time to say goodbye, the parting might be slightly less difficult, knowing that we milked every iota of joy from every day.

And you can as well; it is my sincerest wish that you find your own personal Charlie and go forth and frolic; you can’t control the passage of time, but you can sure keep stuffing sand into the top of the hourglass.

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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