The Man Who Always Felt Like A Boy sat quietly in his living room, on a comfortable couch, after a long day of work. He had just opened all window blinds in the room, and he now watched the setting sun play out upon the trunks of old trees: yellow-ish, orange-hued, pinkish-red turning slowly into that special shade of ethereal crimson that only occurs on a clear day during the last seconds of sunset. Trunks and leaves never looked so rich, nor so beautiful. The sky beyond was already welcoming the approaching hues of night, with that deep purple side of blue we can only witness during dusk. Surveying the View from his Seat, this King of His Own Life mulled over certain thoughts in his mind.
This was not the Land of his Birth, not quite. This countryside was just a little different.
Nowhere we could ever go or live would ever be like his homeland, to him.
He didn’t visit his birthplace nearly enough.
In order to put down roots and truly enjoy a life, a man must know his roots, and understand how they led him to the life he now has.
So now, in his mind, the Man Not Quite A Man considered myriad memories: long green hillsides, traversed countless times daily by children’s tireless feet, as they ran and played the games only children can truly appreciate; a distant ridge, standing tall and stalwart like a fortress wall protecting the sanctuary of wilderness, marking the point at which the mountains became steeper, taller and more rugged, and so, less tamed; the color of Appalachian mountains when viewed from afar, in the summertime, at dusk, when the name “Blue Ridge” rings truer than ever; and especially, almost incommunicable, the smell of mountain soil and forest, that particularly sweet and leafy, earthen scent that only exists in a specific Land of the Sky….
This Man Haunted By Nostalgia watched the dusk turn darker around him, and the light let in by the several windows faded into purple inky shade. Looking around the room itself, he realized that now was the time of evening when rods and cones strain in eyeballs to see in half-light, when any point upon which eyes focus seems grainy, as if viewed through a slight film of old television static. He needed to rise off the couch and turn on some lights around the house, and then finish certain chores. Animals needed feeding, food needed cooking and then wares needed washing, and clothing needed folding. Work, by its very nature, is truly Never Done.
Moving brought a current of refreshment eddying into the stagnant waters of mental musings the nostalgia had visited upon him. Walking around the house he currently inhabited, he realized that the house he first knew, the starting point for his entire life, had been ever since the geographic center of his universe. He saw the world with the High Country at its heart, everything else radiating out away from there.
This new idea sparked several more. Just as each new ridge climbed gives new vistas to the observer, so, too, are the peaks and valleys of our lives constantly offering us new perspectives, most notably in hindsight, but also in hope. As a man can stand on mountaintop and see all the land around him, so, too can we who attain the heights of our own lives, and look down enlightened upon all lives around us, admiring them for the natural beauty they all are. Regardless of physical location, the attitude of the hiker, the climber, the traveler, the explorer is one of meditative contemplation from a great height. We watch our lives unfold with a quiet curiosity, and wonderment that life can be so complex and beautiful.
No matter where we live, where we call home is not always something we can change at will. More importantly, there is never a reason why we should only call one place home….
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