Monday, May 16, 2011
How can one go into the woods and not call up Thoreau quotes to try and better illustrate the magic one feels?
It's a magic that permeates souls quietly, nevertheless replacing the makeup that was there before. It calls one to find joy in building, setting and stoking a fire. Joy in a simple task, one that is out of the ordinary.
I say it's magic, this feeling I get in the woods, because it's unexplainable, immeasurable, but real. It transforms me, briefly, into a woman who can feel the wind blow over the tiny hairs on the nape of her neck, and nothing else. I become quiet and introspective, as I exist simply. I am never alone in the woods, and I am free to think, feel, and ask whatever arises inside. The woods are a land of food, water, warmth, and love, and nothing else is required.
It is a welcome reproach from busy, a foray into the woods. Whether a quick trip to walk Skylar, a picnic at the lake, or a weekend at the cabin, I am always greeted by a persuasive wind that asks me to live simply, as it blows by my ear.
I heard the call this weekend, and I memorized it so I could bring it home. I used it to remind myself my day need not be filled with activities. Being a parent to Abby can bring joy whether we're in Wal-Mart getting groceries or on the trail, flicking mud with sticks. Setting expectations that cater to simplicity brings markedly more joy when those expectations are met. Subsequently, I feel that fully satisfied feeling I found in the woods, surrounded by family with good food in my belly. It was a peace that came about with knowing my needs are met and the rest of the blank page was mine to fill.
I choose to fill it simply:
Warm cups of Ovaltine, like my Dad used to make me.
Saying yes when it makes me happy and no when it won't.
Making forts and reading books and tickling my little sprite.
Buying groceries and sharing my food love with Abby in the produce section, before coming home and preparing it with renewed enthusiasm.
Sleeping well and enough, so I can be my best self.
Breathing in as much fresh air as possible.
How better to conquer a sadness than by refocusing my gaze, blurring the edges and finding joy in a simplicity that's been there all along?
"Beware the barrenness of a busy life." ~Socrates
Amen, old Greek guy
at 5:31 PM