It's time to go to bed, but you're reluctant to leave the warmth of the fire and the rare moment of sheer contentment (or maybe you've just had too much wine and aren't sure you can walk that far). In some ways, it's the apex of camping and a moment when one can almost feel a direct link with our early hunter-gatherer ancestors who lived this way every day.
I've been camping in the desert with two very special friends, and though we didn't have a fire, we did share some great conversation. But when one of my friends asked if I were content, I had to answer no, in spite of the moment's ambiance.
"There's always another book out there, waiting to be written," was my reply.
|Rowdy says he'd be content if he just had more catnip.|
I'm now back in Colorado for a couple of days and will soon return for a more extended desert stay, and my friend's question keeps coming back to me: "Are you content?" It seems to match well with another question I've been asked, "What are you running from, and what are you running to?"
I don't have any answers, but I do think that, in general, we're about as happy as we make up our minds to be. Our mindsets are the result of many factors, all the way from how we're taught to view the world as children to refusing to change because we're more comfortable with the devil we know.
For me, true contentment comes with sitting in a camp chair watching the dogs sleep and thinking of nothing except where our next camp will be or what's for dinner. Maybe that's getting pretty elemental in the grand scheme of things, but so be it. I make no claims to being a great thinker, or even any kind of thinker.
And so, with that, I think I'm going to go on back out there and see how long I can be content before making myself unhappy again. I'm going to give it my best shot and really try for it. I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, but there's no stress or expectations. It will all equal out, and I have no reason to not be content, as I have everything I need.
|Callie's pretty content to watch birds out the window, though she'd be even more content to catch them.|
But actually, if you think in geologic time, it doesn't really matter if I write a book or cook a hotdog or watch the clouds or sleep or contemplate my existence.
So, if you see someone in the outback who looks very content, it might just be me—I may even decide to just stay out there.
Happy trails and may you find your own path to contentment.