It takes two to bridge the gap

I knew Nelson only as a young boy, and then not very well. But that was
25 years ago. Now he had arrived at our house again–ia a letter sent by
his lawyer father.
Today, Nelson is a young medical student in British Columbia. He was on call in his hospital office as he wrote, and he wrote with a deft hand of a trip that most of us would only dream about.
With a group of nine others, he had visited the land of the
midnight sun at its northern-most points. He told of being flown in by a chartered plane and left at a place where “there was absolutely no sign of civilization, nor of other humans.”
They saw grizzly bear, caribou, mountain sheep, eagles, and hawks.
He wrote, “At times we would go hiking in the middle of the night, the
eternal sunshine making the time of day meaningless.”
They cooked gourmet food–planned by an experienced and capable guide–on a Coleman stove “under the blue sky and blazing sun” of the Northland.
He spoke of the scenery as “indescribably beautiful,” and his first
glimpse of the Arctic Ocean as “unforgettable.”
As I read, I found myself growing more and more envious.
But then, the letter took a different twist. He wrote of deep canyons,
with huge waterfalls, of scaling the steep walls to scout out the safest route through the rapids, and of wearing his wet suit in the bitterly cold water.
This was clearly no adventure for the weak of heart, nor for those who might not be in top physical condition. This was an adventure for vigorous young men.
Nelson went on to say that “perhaps the best aspect of the trip was the people I travelled with.”
“One of the group was 78 years old, and was incredibly fit and young at heart. He is a living example of the old adage that you are only as old as you feel.”
Suddenly, I wanted to know Nelson better. How had one so young caught the essence of life so clearly?
Nelson went on to tell how on their return to civilization “Old Bob,” as he called him, had won $200 at the Diamond Tooth Gerdies, an original casino in Dawson City, and then splurging, had taken them all out to breakfast.
Old Bob and Nelson were adventurers together for 12 unbearably exciting days. They challenged the elements together and viewed the incredible scenery together–and the 50 years between them made absolutely no difference.
That is as it should be.
There are things that separate people in life but age should never be one of them. It is important to remember, however, that it takes two to bridge the gap.
Old Bob is a young man who happens to be 78 years of age, and Nelson is a man in his 20s who happens to be filled with mature wisdom and understanding.
One day he will make a great psychiatrist.

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