There were woods down across our backyard after you passed the tomato garden, after you waded across Sweetwater Creek, after you passed my Grandpa in his little barn like shop standing there sharpening lawnmower blades, sparks flying from the bench grinder.
Woods across the backyard after you passed the outdoor kitchen area where sliced apples, peaches and pears lay drying on homemade sawhorse tables in the fall sunshine, honey bees, flies and yellow jackets buzzing my mom, aunt and grandmother as they washed mason jars and lids in wash tubs getting ready to can.
Woods across the backyard that all us kids shared with possums, coyotes, coons and whippoorwills and all our dogs. I was probably four or five when they finally paved the road in front of the house. By then my Dad and the rest had introduced me to hunting, fishing and the romance of all that was good about "being outside". I didn't realize then that living, loving and working were just by products of what made me tick and ultimately, my tick, came from "being outside".
Many years passed and I drifted farther and farther from the energy that wound my clock. Instead I pursued all the clever enticing enchantments that civilized culture uses to exhort a man to reach his potential. The farther you get down that road however, the harder it is to return. Some never do. It's usually a bad conscious, and the depression that goes with it that saves most, but most aren't conscious of their compass drift. I have lot of work to do myself, making up for that drift. I'm making peace with my conscious as I go.
Many know the truth, but have trouble giving up society's definition of success. That being, "the accomplishment of having lots of stuff!" Have you ignored your compass, ignored being at peace with you mind, preserving your soul and living that long lasting, God given, healthy life? Are your too busy taking care of all that stuff? If you are still wondering what I'm talking about ask yourself a question, this question. This morning when you first opened your eyes in the dim gray dawn, did you have an overwhelming, heartfelt, can't wait, euphoric desire to get up get out of bed and go do whatever it is you do? If you can't answer that the way you wished you could, then you are down that road. Only you can turn it around, but forgive me if I don't hold my breath.
I'm here for you though, for what's that's worth, I mean well by it anyway. Truth is though, your probably too far gone, you better go do your taxes. Go on now, move along, go do something that your accustomed to and comfortable with, you better go check your credit score and see about trading that last years model Range Rover for a new one.
Now to the faithful, the faithful remain as does the "Dude Abide," the faithful still seek, seek that which was lost. I'm here for the faithful, here to share what I feel when I seek, here to share what I feel when I sink back down into the guts of my remembrance, down into what I've left there untouched for so long, those memories that leave me giddy with childlike happiness. Hopefully I can spawn in you a little enlightenment, pricking you to be aware like me of memories, memories of what made you the happiest, smells of a camp fire burning down low, sounds of the quiet whisper of "good night" from your dad, an owl hootin way off down deep in a hollow, the wind bringing a little rain on the canvas, aware of a deep joy in your soul, smiling at how tired and happy you are, feeling yourself drifitin off, breathing slow, starting to dream, mind clearing, resting, body jerking, fingers twitchin, snugglin down, deep in the bag, nice warm, being there, "Being Outside".