Sunday, September 13, 2009

You have two hours. What are you going to do with them?

Yesterday, I had about two hours to play with. It was a beautiful, sunny, blue bird day, and there was a canoe sitting in the grass. Mike and I both had a bunch of stuff that needed to get done, but there, again, was this canoe in the grass.

So we threw it on the car. And we made some phone calls, and we dropped off a car at the mechanic, and did a bunch of that grown up stuff that needs to get done. And then we pulled the canoe off the car (okay, I didn't do the pulling, a nice man in a big boat hauler did my end for me due to still broken ribs), and we pushed it out into Whitefish lake and went for a paddle.

The water was like glass, we paddled along the south part of the lake and watched the frieght trains come winding along behind the houses. People were out on their docks, sitting in lawn chairs, playing in the water.

We headed out to the headwater and went down the creek quite a ways, it was silent back there, rotted old pilings under the railway bridge, a river otter or a badger swimming in front of the canoe for a while. Apple trees along the bank heavy with red fruit, yellow willows reflected in the blue green water. Sun on my skin, quiet dip of paddle.

We pulled the boat out and went to get a cold drink, hit the grocery store, and Mike headed off to work.

While we were putting the boat back on the car, the nice guy that helped us looked at his daughter. "We should be doing this right now! Lets go get our boat, its a beautiful night." Her face lit up in a smile, and they went to go get their canoe and head out on the lake together.

I thought about this while I was making some dinner, happy in my warm bare feet, from two hours in the sun.

We tend to say in our lives, well, now its too late, it will take too long, that's a lot of effort to get the boat up there and all, lets do it next weekend when we can get an earlier start.

But what I realized is, there is time. There is more time than you think. An hour today makes it more likely that you will get an earlier start next weekend. Inertia is an amazing thing, the extra effort it takes to get your shoes on and get out the door, get the boat on the car... well, once its up there, things are moving, and they'll tend to keep moving.

Mike and I were talking about this, about how if you make the choice to look at how things can keep moving, you don't live in fear of them stalling, of the failure, of the trap of your house, your couch, your life, your adult responsibilities. Yes, they are important. Yes, you have to function in society.

But what's happened to me lately, which I like, is to say yes to my life. "Yes, we can go to the skatepark." Even if we only have 45 minutes to do it. Lets go. Heck, ya. Lets make it happen. Yes.

Yes, we can leave the house and go for a canoe trip on the lake even though we only have 2 hours. Because the joy that refills you when you do that, when you walk to the park and sit on the swings, when you take a few moments to plug into the people you love and see them, really SEE them in front of you, and spend those few moments really LIVING with them, well those moments seem to infect the rest of your life.

I have more energy to follow through with the rest of my life when I'm living the moments that belong to me to the fullest.

So the challenge now is, I have two hours... what can I do with them? What new adventure can I pack into two hours? A walk around the circle with the dog will do, its true. What if, instead, I went and skipped rocks in the river? That's not something I do every day. Is two hours enough time to take a sketchbook out into the sun? To pick a bag of apples? Which means climbing a tree...

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