Who Does She Thinks She Is?

I am an old soul. It matters not my age nor my global position; my heart has made a connection with one of the literary greats and I seek to introduce a man that few bother to understand. Henry would probably see me as one of the sillies, caught up too much in the ridiculousness that is modern life, but I desire to take a page from his book and simplify, simplify, simplify!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Methinks We Might Elevate Ourselves a Little More

My mind goes instantly to a mouse.  In a maze.  Seeking the cheese with limited resources.  Relying upon his sense of smell, he tries and fails, tries and fails, tries and fails. From the casual observer, the solution is easy.  Climb.  Climb up and maximize your view, your perspective.  Utilize all of your senses and dramatically increase your chances of success.

How often we do the same thing.  We settle into the our small little world, our small little predictable routine, limiting ourselves to what we already know, failing to expand our perspective by elevating our position.

Henry David Thoreau perceived that we limit ourselves to familiarity and safety, and found a solution to increasing his vision.

"We hug the earth, how rarely we mount!  Methinks we might elevate ourselves a little more.  We might climb a tree, at least.  I found my account in climbing a tree once.  It was a tall white pine, on top of a hill; and though I got well pitched, I was well paid for it, for I discovered new mountains in the horizon which I had never seen before--so much more of the earth and the heavens.  I might have walked about the foot of the tree for threescore years and ten, and yet I certainly should never have seen them." (from Walking)

What is it about a vista?  What is so stirring about a distant horizon that awakens something inside of us? How does our becoming smaller, in relationship to our view, draw us closer to the immensity of God? Could it be we are reminded of the miracle of His love for even something or someone as insignificant as ourselves?

Henry's neighbor and friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, joined him in his appreciation for the therapeutic nature of, well, nature.

"To the body and mind which have been cramped by noxious work or company, nature is medicinal and restores their tone.  The tradesman, the attorney comes out of the din and craft of the street and sees the sky and the woods, and is a man again.  In their eternal calm, he finds himself.  The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon.  We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough."

We must embrace this idea of searching for horizons.  When is the last time you climbed to the top of a mountain?  When is the last time you climbed a tree?  When is the last time you read a book that challenged your mind and your intellect, or endeavored to solve a puzzle, or a riddle, or a persistent annoyance? When is the last time you tied on your walking shoes and set out to breathe in some air not being clamored for by stifling crowds?

I am the first to admit that I spend too much time indoors, and even though I am engaged in productive pursuits, I am limiting myself to the same, the same, the same.

Perhaps it is time, once again, to climb a tree, or a mountain. 

Despite the chance of getting "well pitched," I can't bear the thought of what I might be missing.

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