OK, let's all take a long walk through the woods or down the road or across the field. If you've got a horse, saddle up! America, as a whole, needs to take a long walk or ride after this past week's happenings.
I learned a lesson early in life from Grandpa John. I was named after him, and through all the years I was around this man there were lessons taught to me without me ever knowing that they were lessons.
One of those lessons was that if troubles came and you were upset or depressed, take a walk. It didn't matter where you took a walk to. It just mattered that you got yourself up out of your chair and got out of the house. There were no time limits on the walk, just that you were walking.
Over the years I've found that to be one of the truer lessons that Gramps taught me. Over the past weeks our fellow citizens have been glued to the media, both social and commercial. We've been stuck in our chairs ruminating the results of the just past election.
We need to take a walk.
I took such a walk last week. There was no special goal and no time frame to my walk. My wife had been urging me to get out of the recliner and "go breathe some fresh winter air." And so I did.
To my amazement, my cloudy brain cleared with those first few steps out of the house.
I wandered down our country road after our recent warmer than normal weather and found that Mother Nature had deposited a coat of white rime ice on every tree needle, branch and bush. The scene resembled the inside of a snow globe, only this was real. The air that filled my lungs felt good, even though the oxygen was below freezing. The crunch of snow under my boots sounded much better than the relentless droning sounds coming from our TV set or radio.
A giant oak tree sat alongside my path and I saw that some creature, probably one of our neighborhood gray squirrels, had been tunneling below the roots to get at its stash of acorns. More probably the sunflower seeds I had been targeting to the bird life in our backyard. I'd bet the squirrel wasn't a bit bothered by the evening news. He had other things to think about.
A pair of giant timber wolf tracks came out of the lowland brush and headed for the sidehill where deer bed down. I wondered if the wolves had any success on their hunt. Deer have been absent from our yard this past fall and winter and I thought the wolf's presence may be the reason. I thought to myself that if I was the target of these giant canines, I probably would have moved on to a safer place as well.
I passed by our now dormant garden on my walk. I thought of all the produce that it produced last summer and the fruits of which we are now dining on almost every night. My mind started to actually plan where the rows would go this spring when again we'll seed and plant, expecting only the best results. Seed catalogs are now scattered across our coffee table and I saw my wife writing a preliminary order just the other day.
A number of trees had decided to "give up the ghost" over the fall and winter and now lay prone to the earth. Some of them had evidently been visited by our woodpecker community and were drilled full of holes. I heard one woodpecker drumming, which at this time of year means the bird is already establishing its spring breeding territory. At least the bird is planning for a positive start of 2021!
By the time my walk ended I felt a sense of better things to come. Some of the clouds that had filtered through my head over the past weeks seemed to clear a bit. There seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel, as they say.
Americans as a whole need to take a long walk or ride and think about things. My granddad was right. He usually was. Take a walk. You'll feel better for it.
See you next time. Okay? Stay safe!