Saturday, June 26, 2010

'The older I get...'

My wife and I were sitting quietly on the patio at dusk last Tuesday, just as we do every evening. As we gazed out over our back yard, the fresh-cut lawn simmering with lightning bugs, I said,

"The older I get, the simpler I like it."

Less than a week from now I'll enter my fifty-fourth year. My perspective, shaped by experience, grows longer. Likewise, life's complexity becomes ever more apparent -- but it's anything but inescapable.

I make a conscious choice to listen to the chip of a cardinal, the toll of church bells and the wail of a freight train's horn as it approaches the crossing in the village. I shun television in favor of watching squirrels at play.

I admire a sharp knife and meditate on the pile of shavings around my feet. I drive past a commercial gym, come straight home and sweat for free in the yard. I appreciate "a good tired" and an afternoon nap on a weekend afternoon.

Through trials and countless errors I've found that while compassion is indispensable, labor trumps sincerity and competence demonstrated is more valuable than effort displayed. I no longer validate entitlement. I live to learn.

When life becomes complicated -- it certainly has over the last two years and inevitably it will again -- I neither resist nor ignore the challenge. Simplicity is the cadence which measures my steps.

I've had a run of good fortune lately. I celebrate that gift -- in perspective, simply.