Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Treestand Philosophy

One of my favorite things to do on my Monday day off, is for Donna and I to go out to lunch together some place where I can get breakfast for lunch. That usually means Bob Evans, especially the one across the street from Cabela's. As we enjoyed our time at Bob Evans yesterday, I mentioned to Donna that our presence there brought the average age of the customers down considerably. We're not spring-chickens, but most of the clientele were clearly elderly folks, I'm sure enjoying the good Senior Discount that Bob Evans gives to anyone over fifty-five. Oops! I guess that includes us! Really, most of these folks were well past that, whereas we are newbies to the oldies crowd. Anyway, being the people watcher I tend to be, I couldn't help but notice how so many elderly folks seemed to be so unhappy and grumpy. Not all, for sure! One nice gentleman stopped at our table to ask me where "Harding University" was since he saw it printed on my shirt, and we had a wonderful little talk about Arkansas and Searcy in particular. But others, well, they seemed so, so, down and depressed. Like they were mad at the world for letting them get old.
The other day I was sitting up high in my tree stand, watching the fall color explosion more than looking for deer, and I had a metaphorical vision about life. We all know and are familiar with comparing the seasons of the year to the seasons of life, but have you ever just thought about a leaf. A single leaf, clinging to a branch like all the other leaves, and yet unique in ways that the naked eye can't easily detect. All of them start out the same. Shiny, green, and strong. Some don't make it through the storms of life before they get ripped loose and fall back to the earth. The comparisons are endless and any metaphor will fall apart if you try to make TOO MUCH of it, but I was truly touched by one particular thought. Isn't it interesting that so many leaves reach their peak of beauty at the end of their life. Just before being disconnected, they are bright yellows, gorgeous reds, and vibrant orange, and they give joy to the world around them. Then they're gone. Back to the place that gave them life in the first place.
I want to be like that, don't you? I want aging to be my peaking not my dying. I want to bring joy to the world around me, and then return to the One who gave it all to me.
That gives all new meaning to the old joke, "Make like a tree and leave" doesn't it?


elizabeth said...

You do bring joy to the world around you! I'm so thankful for your example...for the way that you take what life gives you and you look for the beauty and the knowledge that can be gained. I want to be that way now and forever.

me said...

What a great analogy! I love it and I love the way your mind thinks about the positive. You're a pretty special guy, and I think I'll keep you! :)

Deborah said...

Wow. What a great insight.

Don't worry, if you ever get to be a grumpy old man, we'll take your Botox away.

(For a second, I thought "me" was a message you wrote to yourself. I was worried that maybe you were feeling a little low on affirmation lately! :))