Nov 30 2011

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A Place to Ponder

Posted at 9:55 am under Blog Post

Every once in a great while, I go up to Aldis Hill to sit on a downed tree and just ponder matters. Usually I have a cigar in hand, which I smoke in celebration of some small accomplishment. In this case, I was celebrating the publication of the latest Wood Thrush Books anthology – no mean feat considering how busy I’ve been keeping myself lately. But maybe this celebration was just an excuse. It was an unseasonably warm day in late November and I badly needed to get out of the house.

Remnant patches of snow from an early winter storm remained on the ground despite several days of thawing temps. A pile of wood chips at the base of a dead tree caught my eye. Evidently some hungry critter had been digging there for bugs. I’m guessing a raccoon. My dog Matika watched intently as a squirrel ran the branches overhead. Some unseen bird squawked unrecognizably from a nest.  I couldn’t make it out in the twilight. The sun had set a half hour earlier, just as I had entered the woods.

My mind wandered as it does on such occasions. I congratulated myself for completing yet another literary task, pondered current projects, then considered what the future holds. Then I thought about matters on a grander scale: the people I know and love, and the human condition in general. It doesn’t take me long these days to leap from the personal to the universal. For better or worse, I’m in the habit of philosophizing.

Funny how these woods-sitting sessions of mine always end with a thanksgiving. I can’t help but count by blessings whenever I stop moving long enough to consider my place in the greater scheme of things. The pursuit of happiness breeds unhappiness, I think. Only when I stop and think about what I already have do I start feeling good.

I walked out in darkness, feeling my way along the trail.  A galaxy of city lights sparkled through the naked trees as I meandered downhill.  I delighted in it.  A half hour later, I was back home and busy doing things again.  But this time with relish.  I had been miserable about something earlier in the day, but couldn’t for the life of me recall what it was.


One response so far

One Response to “A Place to Ponder”

  1. Deedee Burnsideon 07 Dec 2011 at 8:05 am 1

    The new anthology is wonderful! A great collection of profound, thought provoking words but as usual my favorite part of the whole is what you have written!