I lie on the grass, soaking in Oregon’s August sun, wondering why I need to do anything else. I have food, I have shelter, I have clothing, I am healthy. What other animal feels the need to busy itself every waking hour working, creating, or seeking entertainment?
Annie sits next to me, her face high above mine, her tongue out, panting in the heat. Whenever I glance her way or touch her fur, she wags her tail. Whenever she dips toward my face for a lick, I laugh and dodge her long tongue. The wind waves over us, ruffling her fur, cooling my skin, scattering the leaves on the lawn.
The trees don’t feel the need to do something. They simply stand, growing, cells changing, providing homes and food for birds, squirrels and bugs. I don’t know what trees think—or if they think—but I doubt that they feel any urgency to read a book, listen to the news, check Facebook, earn money or be anything except a tree.
So why are we different? Why not just lie in the sun, letting it warm through our clothes into our skin and into our bones? Winter will come soon enough, and I will sorrow at the loss of this warmth, struggle to replace it with the pellet stove, hot baths and the electric blanket. I will curse the shortness of daylight and the length of darkness. My mood will darken with the sky.
But now, now when the sky is so blue and clear, when the wind is so gentle, when the lawn is dry and sweet-smelling, surely the creator of all this wants us to lie in the midst of it, simply being alive for a while.
When was the last time you did absolutely nothing but appreciate being alive? Try it for a little while. Turn off the radio, computer and cell phone. Just be.You have time. I promise.