Simplify your life
"As you simplify your life the laws of the universe will be simpler;
solitude will not be solitude,
poverty will not be poverty,
nor weakness weakness."
So said Henry David Thoreau once upon a time.
I have come to love my time hiking alone more than a stadium filled with people.
My little hole in the ground is more than the finest house I could ever build.
My friends and family and pets make me wealthy.
And I never feel stronger than when I am kind.
(Friends, please keep in mind that I am not “telling” anyone how to live here. I am just advocating for each of us to strive to find ways that bring more simplicity to our lives, and am sharing some ways that have helped me in my quest. I realize that even visualizing the word “simple” for one person may invoke a completely different frame of reference for another.)
I highly value communicating with and visiting people. I truly do. I write at least three personally handwritten notes daily. I also correspond one-on-one by messenger on Facebook with many an ex-student each day. I personally visit the old-fashioned way, face-to-face, with several people each week. And there is, of course, this column.
Yet, I need my alone time; to think deeply.
It is alone that I most like to go on my daily hikes, when and where I seem to think perhaps most deeply of all. Yes, I sometimes hike with friends, but the times I am able to think most clearly and creatively are when I hike deep in the woods alone. Well, maybe not completely alone - God is always there. Indeed, when I am in nature is when I find I am most likely to listen to that still, small Voice - the Light within - without my even trying. It just happens. These times have never been forced, nor induced, nor planned. And they rarely last more than a fleeting moment. But such moments are heaven when they do.
As for my “little hole in the ground”, that is precisely what it is. I live in a basement. A mostly unfinished basement. The entire floor is concrete. There are no windows. No ceiling. And only one door.