Picnic in the Redwoods

Humbling and Inspiring

Humbling and Inspiring

What a great day I had with my beloved Karen yesterday. Karen, who has been working so hard and only had the one day off in the middle of BIG TIME recession decisions and announcements. Karen, who loves people so much and loves me so much, and truly dislikes hurting those she loves, or anyone else for that matter. Karen, who has lashed herself to the wheel as the storms buffet and toss the ship, and is going to get this ship and crew through this by gosh and by golly. Karen, who is fiercely strong and who’s heart breaks every day. Karen, who I love with all my heart and soul. This is the Karen that I went on a picnic in the redwoods with yesterday. We took a short hike and then found a lovely grove to set down in and opened our bottle of blush zinfandel, got out our baguette, sliced off some cheddar and salami and talked about all sorts of things, read some poetry, and soaked in the trees and the shade. It was just a simple 3-4 hour jaunt from the house, not a big planned deal, simple and easy and sweet.

We don’t do enough of those kind of things. We tend to either stay put in the house and putter around, maybe take a hot tub or watch a movie, sometimes we go for a walk on the beach or down our country road for the sake of some sort of exercise, or we leave for the whole day and fill it with shopping, entertainment and dining, or we leave for a day or weekend of a planned experience of some sort. Rarely, however do we leave for a simple time together in nature with nothing to do and nowhere to go, sit down on the forest floor and take out a simple picnic and just talk and listen to each other for no particular purpose, except that it is nourishing to our spirits. What truly amazes me is that we are both creative and spirit filled beings who know how to do this simple thing and yet we forget so totally and completely. Complex and Hard have become so normal that we even tried to complexify packing up our little picnic, and when we got to the trees that gave us a little laugh. Sometimes things CAN be simple and sweet. I know this, Karen knows this, and yet we forget it so easily. Part of what made it so nice is that it was outside of our box of what we do on a day off. So if we did simple little picnics every weekend, turned it into a plan and even explored different lovely places, that would be nice and even great for awhile and then it too would become a stale habit if done too regularly. So the key to simple and easy is to have a smorgasborg of possibilities that we can easily pick from and then just GO. Because the truth of it is that once I get out in the woods, or by the lake, or on top of the mountain, hill, canyon, or whatever I don’t care what I am doing or talking about. I really just care that I am breathing and loving and connecting with my beloved and with the nature that is all around me. I don’t have to pitch a tent and stay for a week, I just need to go, breathe, and love.

Another nice thing about a picnic (at least my kind of picnic, knife, cheese, sausage, bread, and wine) is that it is easy to carry and I can get some good 2/3s in walking to a good site, and it is easy to practice 1/3 moderation with. I just don’t want to keep stuffing my face because to slice and break and chew takes a certain commitment that when you’re done you really are. So it is a remarkably good 1/3 2/3s experience. So for my accountability for yesterday I’d say yes to breakfast; 2 very small poached eggs on rye toast and half a glass of grapefruit juice. Lunch; aforementioned picnic in the Redwoods. Dinner; beans and rice, salad, some restraint practiced and not much moderation, also eaten in front of the TV so dinner gets maybe 80/100, everything else impeccable.

5 responses to “Picnic in the Redwoods

  1. Henry, Dear Henry…. Thanks for the reminder to do (and savour) the simple little things with those we love. Thinking of you and Karen taking this time brought tears to my eyes. I love you both so. xoxo, Helenski

  2. Hi Henry,

    My glasses broke on Saturday night while at the movie “Julie and Julia”–go see it, it’s fabulous. Anyway, I had to take them to the optometrist in Berkeley to get them fixed. It was a nice day, so I poked in some of the stores on 4th Street and enjoyed the trees. There were lots of people walking around and enjoying themselves. So much beauty that I might have missed if I hadn’t broken my glasses. Just think of all the opportunities each day, if we just look around.

    I’m glad for your time with Karen and the yummy picnic. These are the times that sustain us.


  3. Ahhhh…the simple life. So simple to do, yet as you say, we make it so damn complex and full of details! In times of stress, it’s a good reminder to let the complexity of life go, even for a few minutes, and enjoy something simple….deep breaths, a piece of chocolate (without guilt!), thinking of something that makes you laugh out loud. When I need to get away from the complexity of life, I sit quietly and do a crossword or sudoku on a piece of paper, not on the computer. Ahhh..the simple things in life!

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