My son and I went across the road to get maple tree branches for him to complete building an arbor for our garden gateway into our chicken yard. To get there, we had to navigate this field of pink fluff which actually cushioned our steps as we walked…expressions like “heaven on earth” and “walking in clouds” flitted into my mind as I walked softly. Imagine our happiness when we got to the top of the hill and discovered blackberry bushes laden with fruit that the deer had not yet found. We filled our pockets and my skirt folded up to be a pocket, cut some branches, and then returned back across the pink clouds to the kitchen where I baked a peach and blackberry tart.
Not all outdoor experiences are this idyllic, which makes one like this extra special. We were not swatting mosquitos, rushing, ignoring someone else’s problems, or sweating profusely.
The Stoics emphasized the appreciation of what is actually attainable, rather than the constant desiring and striving after things that come at too high of a price one way or another. Reading about the philosophy has led me to identify myself as a natural stoic…it is not anxiety that gives me pause when my three sons climb into the car to go play soccer in a neighboring town….it is a deep awareness of how tentative and fragile our experience is. They could be eradicated off the face of the earth in a second by an oncoming vehicle. It is the stoic in me who takes a minute to focus on the three of them with the thought of how much I love them before they set off, relatively immune to my call to them to “Drive safely!”