Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dead Trees and Quiet Places...

The importance of weekends and rest is paramount for the 92% traveller, and I am no exception to that rule. Granted, with two beautiful children that are engaged in just about every activity under the sun, weekends become a thrilling connect the dots game of baseball, gymnastics and all of those other rites of passage that may change regionally, but are the same minivan band of gypsies from sports field to birthday party across the country (I suspect across the world, but they probably use bikes or some other form of transportation - we are the worlds biggest gas hogs if you have not heard)

My weekends are typically filled with Dead Trees and Quiet Places - and both are welcome changes from the Neapolitan jumble of travel. This weekend was no different - two dead trees that scarred my front yard (and had the anal retentive Home Owners Association up in arms about the infractions that were creating an environment that kept my retired and elderly neighbors from being able to sip mint juleps on their front porches) had to be felled this week. They were old small scrub oaks, but even still it was disappointing to have to cut them down - it is sort of like finishing an assignment - the stump is still there, as is the relationship that was built before, but then you move on - and you put another tree in the ground. There is nothing simple about moving on, and this is once again, and eerie parallel to replacing dead trees - what do we put in the ground, where do put them, etc etc. I do know that the most important lesson that I can be pull from these dead trees is that at some point in time, you just have to make a decision to cut them down, and then just do it.

Quiet Places - I know people say "Fences make good neighbors" (I guess I should say people steal this quote from Mr. Frost) - but I think the best thing that makes the road warrior a better person is a quiet place - mine is the garage - in fact, I moved a coffee table, a couch, a love seat, a computer table and a box fan into the garage - and now it is my quiet place. It is not always easy to get back from a 120 mile an hour meeting and dive into the role of being a father, friend, neighbor, and lover - without having a haven or place to escape and gather your thoughts. The garage to me is wonderful - when I open the door - there is an 8' x 12' life like plasma screen television (the real world framed by a creaky old garage door frame) and I can sit on that couch, or love seat, and just watch the world outside - and then (this is the important part) make a conscious decision to immerse myself in it - or make the decision to sit a while longer, enjoy another cup of cheap coffee, and just be quiet. The 92% traveller is so far removed from their "real life" during the week, that this small connection to quiet is one that I find terribly necessary - new agers call it meditation - I call it quiet.

No more to write today, and I apologize for it not being as humorous as I thought it probably should be - but being compelled enough, dead trees and quiet places were an important thought to share.


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