Just minutes from our cabin door is this amazing patch of the woods where the entire ground is covered in luscious moss. Every time we pass through it I feel like I am in some fairy wonderland. I am just waiting for some winged little creature to come flying by and wish me a nice day!
THE AMERICAN LIFESTYLE
A few years back a neighbor decided to take a year off and go work in Thailand. He picked a small beach community in the southern part of the country known for white-sandy beaches, a laidback lifestyle, and very friendly people. About half-way through his stay he had to come home for a short visit due to an unexpected family emergency. We had coffee and I asked him about how his experience in Thailand compared to his time living in Portland.
While I knew things would be different, I had not expected to hear him say that he really had no intention of returning to the states. The American lifestyle, he explained, has become so rushed, stressful, and lacking in community and heartfelt connection. When you live it every day it is hard to realize just how crazy it has become, because it is the norm. Only after he fully disconnected from his life in Portland and was able to compare it to an alternative did he realize just how significant the differences in lifestyle were.
We are continually challenged by the American lifestyle. It is one reason we consciously slip away to our cabin on most weekends, despite the endless list of traditional alternatives (soccer games, birthday parties, shopping, to-do lists, house chores and on and on and on). Yes, we want our cake and eat it to. We love Portland, the city, and all the urban lifestyle has to offer. At the same time, we don’t want to get caught up in the rush of busy schedules, the stress of to-do lists, and the lifestyle my friend wanted to leave for Thailand. It is why we consciously choose to spend weekends at the cabin as much as possible.
Leonardo da Vinci, the great inventor, artist, mathematician, and scientist once said:
Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer; since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment.
Go some distance away because the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and a lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen.