I was coming home from visiting my father-in-law who's dying--we're all dying but he's doing so a little faster than most of us--and was driving the back roads when I passed a fellow hiking in the opposite lane. I don't mean he was hitchhiking cuz while he was heading in my direction he was faced away from me and didn't have his thumb out and was on the westbound shoulder. he was wearing a full backpack complete with bedroll and tentpegs poking out of the side and ambling contentedly toward the east. if I hadn't been on a timetable I would have at least offered him a ride just to hear his story. and perhaps it was the combination of things in my life, my father-in-law's approaching death, my lack of an immediate future teaching job, the stresses my wife and I allow between us, he looked absolutely radiant with life to me.