Saturday, December 19

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

It was a driving day today on my little tour of a selection of my ‘friends who live far away’ just in time for the holiday season. Time and money have made the trip shorter than I might have preferred, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to see even a few of those that I respect and love the most. To those I couldn’t reach, Namaste to you too. J

Being a road day, there isn’t much time now to dedicate to a blog entry, but here’s what I got:

I took just about the most indirect, direct route from Red Deer to Cranbrook that I could this afternoon, down through Kananaskis country and the Alberta foothills region. While I’m still happy to be back in BC to live, this is a region that has to be seen to be believed and appreciated, and I can’t say that I saw enough today, that I’ve ever seen enough, or that it’s even possible. Rockies to the west and ranch land and forest on every side, this is truly a beautiful place to move through.

I was fortunate enough to have plenty of time, and so I was able to appreciate the moments, views and solitude of a solo drive more than usual; certainly more than I ever did when I travelled this road in a rush because I had a time restriction. It made me think about all of the times I didn't appreciate this or so many other drives, and about how I was always rushing around doing nothing critical, missing the chance to stand up and live in favor of a maze designed to keep me distracted and blind. Today, for me, was a very ‘live’ day in spite of being on the road for most of it. Tucked in my shaking, rattling, yet very comfortable ’99 TJ, I rolled through a beautiful day and languished happily in the swirl of my own thoughts.

The trip was lazy, contemplative and relaxed, and it made me think of Thoreau. Hence the quote.

I've always loved driving alone for this very feature: I can think and let my thoughts run wherever they choose too. Today I spent time just being thankful for friends and family, something that’s been a major theme for me this year, thinking about the concept of a resource based society instead of one focused on monetary and economic drivers, and blissfully daydreaming about what something a little closer to utopia might look like.

The daydream wasn’t completely unrealistic. I also sent time thinking about all of the obstacles there are between here and there, all the stumbles and leaps we’ll have to make to pursue it, let alone ever come close to reaching for it in a real way. I enjoyed the mental exercise of it all, trying to do hypothetical problem solving around bouts of simply enjoying the dream of a better world.

So, in spite of spending most of the day in a POS Jeep, I felt alive today. The world seemed vibrant and nothing seemed too far off or too impossible. I was pleasantly optimistic without qualification, and that, for me, is a holiday worth remembering.

I may not have been left with too much time to write, but the urge to pound a few words out was too strong to resist, and I have to say – that inspiration is simply one of my favorite things.