Sunday, January 11, 2009

Getting Back to the Basics

I am like you; the average American and I’ve had enough hustle and bustle to last a lifetime.

We are swamped to the gills with ignoramus product advertising claims, reality-television nonsensical blah, blah, blah, end of the world doom and gloom news reporting and are in serious need of a change of pace, relaxation and just a break from it all.

Good news of any kind for us average Americans would be most welcome, especially about the economy, world peace, global warming and the future concerning American politics, the succeeding security of our investments, health care and the cost of living staying within reach.

We however are not stupid enough to think we should hold our breath and wait for the inauguration for “new air”, as we have already figured out that Washington DC politics have little to do with how we breath down here, regardless of how many times hysterical fanatics from either party say otherwise.

About ninety percent of all these invasive distractions and worries can be brought into control by simply shutting off the television and returning to the basics of just enjoying life. Most of the doom and gloom reporting is not going to affect us anyway, so why do we abuse ourselves with it, especially on a minute-by-minute basis, via TV, radio and the Internet?

Why do we keep looking for a fast-acting disposable remedy or a visual and sensory over-loading instant mini-vacation spot to make us happy, when deep down inside we know what we really need is simply a major detour from our noisy existence and a bit of old-fashioned peace and quiet?

A truly rewarding peace and quiet existence can’t be found in a rapid-fire quick airline flight get away or a hell-bent-for-leather cross-country drive to Branson, Orlando or Six Flags over Whatever regardless of how many of us attempt to find it there. What we need is a true safe haven from our hustle and bustle, which is the opposite of what we normally consider and can only be discovered by deliberate planning.

We need to get back to the basics of living folks, if we are going to live well and protect our well-being. Personally, I plan to do it by hiking and camping and in the process, I’ll be cooking meat on a stick over an open campfire, something my ancestors did and enjoyed. I want to pitch a tent and sleep on the ground and bust out of my routine before my routine destroys me.

I have to be honest with myself and make a few initial concessions though, as I am so deeply entrenched in our fast paced lifestyle that going totally primitive would probably find me sitting along a trail in a catatonic state, drooling and mumbling computer code. I’m making plans to stay at some of our fine State parks - the ones that have camping sites with running water and an electrical outlet. It’s a start and I need a jumping off place after all these years of city living. I’ll worry about going totally primitive after I get a few of these under my moccasins.

Back in my high school years I camped often. One year my brothers and I camped out for over a month straight and as an Airman in central California, I took camping/backpacking trips each weekend. Looking back it seems like it was simpler times and I yearn for that again.

Of course, I could fish or hunt again and that would bring a measure of mind-numbing repose, I’m sure, but truth be told, I want to hike and exert my aging muscles to the point of weary exhaustion and that is difficult to accomplish in a 14-foot John Boat or a deer blind.

I plan to squat on my haunches over an open fire and cook cowboy coffee for starters. I’ll crack a few eggs to go with about six thick slices of peppered bacon for breakfast and after that, I’ll ponder the trail, camera in hand. Somewhere during the day, I’ll break open my trail rations and finding a scenic overlook, I’ll savor the moment and maybe nap a bit.

As the evening rolls around, I’ll stumble back into camp, tired and at peace with the world and myself. I’ll cook my meaty provisions over an open fire, much as my ancestors of old and look at the heavens and marvel. Maybe I’ll see a few falling stars or an orbiting satellite.

At the end of my nature and wonder-filled day I’ll plop down in my dome tent smelling of leather, wood smoke and cooked meat with the intention of doing it all again the next day. I’ll fall fast asleep with a smile on my face.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I can see it now,"Baytown's Own Survivor-Man". Back to the basics...sounds like what a lot of folks really need. Good one, Bert!

The older I get... No regrets please.

The older I get, the more I realize how much time I've wasted that could have been productive. Not for one second do I think ...