Snow falls and wind whips outside. Morgan Freeman and Kevin Costner banter on the dusty little TV screen. Sunday Dinner simmers in the crock pot. The key component which brings me the greatest joy of this setting, (yes, even more than Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves) is my cousin Brian sitting beside me.
Upon graduating from college, he was commissioned to help build a High Ropes Course down in Buena Vista, CO (local pronunciation- Bee-oon uh Vista) for a couple of weeks and has done me the honor of coming up to visit at first chance.
He got a good taste of Colorado at Lord of the Mountains Church this morning, watching it snow out one window as sun shone through the other. We enjoyed breakfast at the Elk’s Lodge; a fundraiser for the Dillon Cemetery. After which we ambled through the selfsame cemetery, discussing dreams, mortality, and the three legged dog who torpedoed us. Took a little hike to one of my more favorite lakes and greeted the resident beaver and ducks.
When clouds parted in the afternoon we took a trip up to Loveland Pass, for Brian’s first encounter with the Continental Divide. Then home to enjoy dinner. I did my best to live up to generations of Sunday dinners in our family; due honor to my mother and grandmother.
‘Tis the season for graduations, and with 3 [three] in my own family in the past 2 [two] weeks, compounded by those YOU have likely experienced recently, well, it’s an opportunity for us to reevaluate. What kind of Country/World are these kids stepping into? How can it be improved? How can they be encouraged and propelled?
It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it while you can. While it’s still here. ~Edward Abbey
So I step back from the grandiose challenges aimed toward World Betterment. Back into the present moment, whichever it may so happen to be. Father spoke of this as I stood between my parents in the elevator on the brink of Little Brother Joshua’s graduation weekend. Take a breath, close your eyes to open them.
See & Be; simply; Here & Now.
No seriously, try it, it only takes a second. Start practicing and you realize, those seconds are the keenest. Be they in moments of great anguish or joy, remove the value judgment on it, on yourself, and live it wholly.
It IS a practice.
If asked to justify why I hike long distances, it is this:
When in civilization, there are precious few moments when I can step outside of my narrative and be Simply Present. After a couple of thousand miles, the equation flips.