Eric is youngest of six. Eric is grateful. Eric writes "sermons". His sermons are moral discussions on love and life.
What is hard about life?
For sure I heard someone complain about the price of gas. Truly I heard a homeowner complain about interest on their adjustable mortgage. I did hear something about politics and how the bad side were hateful people. Yep that lady of 300 pounds just whined about the price of food. And I heard an ex-con get angry about a lack of respect. A boy was heard to stomp his feat at being made to clean his own room. Shucks I understand that folks can barely find a car to replace their four year old one. There was this widow who raged at the doctors that her morbidly obese, heavy drinking, stressed out, excerciseless, hypertensive husband on Xanax died from covid senselessly. And of course around here folks get angry if you use any pronoun that means anything in English.
My boy and I just spent time in a wilderness type place where we competed to see who could get dirty clothes cleaner on a washboard. We slept outside without a room. We washed up in a stream. We did a lot of walking/hiking places. Plenty of fishing for dinner, picking blackberries, and splitting wood. Operating a tractor and clearing some land seemed like good old fun. His elder sister showed up and made us clean our fingernails and wear deodorant. I should have worn shoes more as I got a nasty bone bruise. But getting to sit under the Catalpa tree in the little stream soaking it in the cold running water made the cure more better than the injury.
Our Beagle Harrier pup, got into a tussle with some wild Javelinas, Daisy Belle is alright, but we never saw the boars again. Daisy turns out to be a good mouser, earned her keep. Seems the deer did not appreciate her wanting to play with them but they showed up every early morning. And I bet the squirrels are still laughing at her feeble attempt to climb trees after them. She is getting over her butt injury from falling off rocks down at the creek. I am thankful Gabe, my son, got her away from that curled up Diamondback Rattler.
What would be so horrible
Oh but did we have fun playing around with my two big brothers. And some very good friends from childhood and their fine partners joined with us with some delicious treats and we yacked under the Black Walnut trees on the deck that runs over another stream. Dogs had a blast making new friends. We enjoyed visiting our good friends on their working farm. Chickens and ducks and turkeys with wonderful gardens nestled next to a favorite portion of my favorite creek. Of course we kayaked in the large basins of still waters and happily caught no fish. But we did see the peacocks, eagles, hawks, herons and much more. Nothing more splendid than watching rainbow trout reach for the skies jumping a good foot out of the water.
Now I have a healthy practice of meditation. And yes it is somewhat transcendental mixed with prayer. I do it supine with Tai Chi type movements. I confess sometimes I play that gentle breeze, trickling water sound. No need there as I lay in meadow grass gazing at the dawn and sunrise light through the leaves and branches of 100 year old Sycamore and Ash trees. I must say though that it all can be distracting with birds and squirrels dancing overhead. Sitting still to write is great for the sitting still but the writing can be hard when there is so much great stuff running through your senses. It got so easy throwing horseshoes that I would play against both my daughter and son. Still no competition. Some folks just can’t do it when they are laughing their butts off. I am trained and laughing is but another way into my zen. If we allow it and laugh at good and funny things, and only at each other and ourselves in a loving way, laughing can lead to true joy. Music and dancing can work the same way. Oh yes we had the piano and I sang like Sinatra to my sons sweet sounds from the ebony and ivory. Ok maybe my singing scared away our friends the critters. They will get over it.
Yes we chipped away at golf in a meadow and hallow. And yes we have the sweet Red Rider, Daisy rifle BB gun. And a slingshot and wrist rocket. We never did get around to making a bow and arrows, very fun. Gabe has got me with a great eye shooting but I have him with the slings. I did not finish the ash walking stick for a friend back home but I look forward to sanding and doing some carving at home. That just right mixture of grip and slick. The wet stone is good but I need a new whittling blade.
So I wonder what we learned from such a time. I hope we will not complain about new shoes that are too stiff. Or complain about needing to eat less rather than malnutrition.
A favorite path
Love Each Other
We “need”? No, generally speaking we need not the gluttony and materialism. We are invited to know that more is less. We are invited by the spirit of love to indulge ourselves in a spiritual connection with God. We are invited to want less for ourselves and more for our fellows. We are invited to teach the young and keep learning with others. We are invited to sit still and listen and learn from whoever we chose or whoever we are with. We can wake up in the morning and preview our day ahead and determine what contributions we can make in the positive. We can anticipate that poor gal on the other end of the line who cannot give us what we think we need, and actually care about her problems before engaging. We can set our sights on relieving the suffering of others rather than imagining we are suffering ourselves.
Yes through trial and error I have found that I need things. I have found that I want things. My peace comes from wanting what I need. I do not need to get a new car, I need to teach a child a song and perhaps sing one to one older than I. I need to shut up and simply listen to my bride of decades. I am not here for solutions, in listening I can show that not every situation needs a solution but rather acceptance. So these problems that I hear about seem to be of our own making.
Why is it the guy down the street has them but my home does not? Why is it that others try to convince me that the world is going to hell in a handbasket? It makes absolutely no sense that my life is going so well, when I am supposed to be having so many problems, like everyone else. Perhaps it is my insanity that I would just as soon sleep on the dirt than within walls and a roof. Just crazy that I do not come in from the rain and wind and snow. That my favorite running water is the creek to bathe in.
Be good to yourselves and love what you have been so freely given.