“To affect the quality of the day is the highest of the arts.”
-- Henry David Thoreau
How many of us are really living the life we dreamed when we were six years old, or even twelve, maybe twenty-one?
Aren’t we running too fast, over-scheduling ourselves, feeling that we have no time?
Nothing in society teaches us to live in the now—everything is “What’s next?”
When we enter grade school, we feel the pressure to do well so we can get into college. When we get to college we are asked, “What’s next? What is our major? What job will we have?
We look for the ideal mate to make our lives fulfilled and joyful. We wait for children. We wait for them to sleep through the night. We have an eye on their education, their college.
Remember when you were a kid and you laid on the grass and felt the cool dampness of it?
You were lying on a living pallet, and as you lie there with the sunshine a blanket of warm on your skin, you looked into the sky and watched a whiff of white gas gather itself into a cloud.
Can’t you smell the grass, feel the sun?
Thoreau said, “I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Recently I reread a book I had read about 20 years ago and loved the author all over again. It was Dorothy Gilman, and her book was A New Kind of Country.