the long view


Well it’s not far down to paradise

at least it’s not for me

-Christopher Cross, Sailing-

Life is too short to drink lukewarm coffee.

I am telling the kids, that if they would like to get me a present for Christmas, to get me a cup that will keep the coffee hot.

I have a high tolerance for things that are not my preference, because I get high satisfaction in knowing someone else is happy. For example, let’s say I love Mexican food, and my father-in-law prefers the more pub-like food options of burgers and fries. I am happy to go to the place where he likes. I like burgers and fries. He also pays for us basically every single time.

“It’s a treat for me, too”, he says, “I enjoy the company.”


This counselor I’m seeing gave me some homework.  He says that every day I am supposed to be intense, my only curb being I cannot be aggressive.  Fearing somehow my intensity might not be enough for him, to match whatever intensity he’s imagined in his mind, I warned him my intensity comes out in loving nature, in being outside and being awed by it’s beauty.  This conversation reminded me then of a book, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder”, by Richard Louv.

“I spent hours exploring the woods and farmland at the suburban edge.  There were the Osage orange trees, with thorny, unfriendly limbs that dropped sticky, foul fruit larger that softballs.  Those were to be avoided.  But within the windbreaks were trees that we could shinny, the small branches like the rungs of a ladder.  We climbed fifty, sixty feet off the ground, far above the Osage windbreak, and from that vantage looked out upon the old blue ridges of Missouri, and the roofs of a new houses in the ever-encroaching suburbs.”

“Often I climbed alone.  Sometimes, lost in wonderment, I’d go deep into the woods, and imagine myself as Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves, and strip off most of my clothes for the ascent.  If I climbed high enough, the branches thinned to the point where, when the wind came, the world would tip down and up and around and up and to the side and up.  It was frightening and wonderful to surrender to the wind’s power.  My senses were filled with the sensations of falling, rising, swinging; all around me the leaves snapped like fingers and the wind came in sighs and gruff whispers.  The wind carried smells, too, and the tree itself surely released its scents faster in the gusts. Finally, there was only the wind that moved through everything.”

“Now, my tree-climbing days long behind me, I often think about the lasting value of those early, deliciously idle days.  I have come to appreciate the long view afforded by those treetops.

The woods were my Ritalin.

Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.”

“Go to the edge of yourself and accept it.”

I laughed out loud again.

I mean, for real.


I love Mexican restaurants.

I love hot coffee.

What do you love?

2 thoughts on “the long view

  1. I love Coca Cola, I love HOT coffee (put a coffee cup sized Yeti on my Christmas list…not a travel cup, they make a coffee cup) and I love you my friend!!!

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