I'm listening to Joni Mitchell, watching puffy clouds take shape and pondering life. Here is the stream of consciousness that has come from my Wyoming wandering mind.
Prior to leaving last August I had a conversation about Native American culture and the tradition of a spiritual quest adolescents embark on as a rite of passage into adulthood. During the journey, the individual goes off into nature for several days, separated from their family, friends, and life as they have come to know it. It is through this separation the adolescent becomes an adult, taking responsibility for themselves and understanding their contribution to a healthy society.
I suppose my journey mirrors this tradition. I separated from society and continually challenged what I thought I knew to be true. It has helped to keep what's important in perspective. I now understand the comfort and certainty life affords, especially in our western culture. This ease fills people with expectation and entitlement in their day to day existence, which adds to their unhappy lives. While on day 6 of my fast, I witnessed an overweight man scowl, shake his head and swear when he arrived at a longer line than he had expected for food.
Our lives are what we make of it. We can bitch because we have to sit it traffic. We can complain because we don't like our job. We can blame other people when things don't go our way. That is our right. But just because it is our right, does not mean it will bring happiness.
Happiness comes from accepting life as it is, in each moment. It's not always easy and at times it is hard. Harder than you ever thought possible. However, if you only get one shot at this life, wouldn't you want to smile more than frown, laugh more than cry, and treat life and all that's in it as you would your last breath? I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Walter Hagen, "Don't hurry, don't worry, and don't forget to smell the roses."