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Friday, August 7, 2015

The Simple Things in Life

Happiness comes from the simple things. Like deciding to go outside on a foggy morning and lying on the bench in your own special way.

It is  nice to have loyal friends like Leo and Brownie, and to be able to ignore them when you feel like it, and to engage them on your own terms when the spirit moves you.

Happiness, for a dog like Brownie, is being able to spend hours on end digging up rocks.

They say that the best things in life are free. Brownie agrees. He prefers playing with a rock he has dug up from the ground to doing almost anything else.

Of course, the rock isn't really free. We have to pay property taxes to the county and the state in order to be able to hold onto the land we own so we can keep digging up rocks. But Brownie does not know this.

I get a real jolt of joy every time I spot a butterfly and can observe it close up.

I enjoy the sunsets, with their special sights and sounds.

You would think that a sunset, at least, would be free, but even that is not strictly true. To have an unobstructed view of the horizon line and to be able to listen to the crickets and the cicadas and the birds without engine noises costs money. It's the money that it takes to live far, far away from other people.

These are flowers growing by the side of the road, just on the other side of the fence that delimits my property. Aren't they pretty? A couple of days ago the county mowers came and plowed them under. They are no more. But I enjoy the memory.

 Limenitis Arthemis Astyanax.

Yesterday, I was finally able to film the red-spotted purple butterfly that can be found on my property. I have been seeing a lot of them everywhere, in the backyard or flying past the front porch or in the poison ivy that lines the lagoon, but up till now, none of them would sit still long enough for me to take a picture.

 Limenitis Arthemis Astyanax. taking off

This one would not sit still very long, either. As I approached for a better look, it took off and then flew very close to my face, before disappearing into the pasture.

 Limenitis Arthemis Astyanax.close to my face

Still, being able to get this close to the the red-spotted purple (aka Limentitis Arthemis Astyanax) makes me very happy.

I also enjoy observing those much tinier butterflies who turn from white to blue to white again.

They amaze me!

The rabbits on my property are so blasé about seeing me, they actually stop to scratch before they hop off.

I saw this little guy through my kitchen window as I was doing the dishes last night. Then when I went out to feed the kitten in the barn, he was still there.

That rabbit was so comfortable with my presence, that it stopped to scratch before taking evasive maneuvers. And guess what? The kitten was just around the corner of the house. It wondered what was taking me so long to get to the barn.

The best things in life are free, they say. Sure, they are free, after you finish paying for that freedom. Brownie, Leo and the kitten did not cost anything to acquire, but they cost a lot to keep. I often see these memes with a man, a woman and a child romping around on a beach. "The Best Things in Life Are Free" it says. "Oh, yeah?" I want to ask: "How much did that pretty wife (or sexy husband) set you back? How much money is that child costing you? How did you get to go to the beach?"

People have to save up before they can start a family. They need to put aside money for time to look at butterflies or talk with apes, too. Anytime you go after someone else's savings, you are attacking the simple things in life and making them definitely not free. If the price is too steep, all those things have to go.

Nothing that is worth having is free. It's a fact of life. But it should not cost you more than what it took to acquire and feed it. So the next time you go to the polls, vote for lower taxes, so that we don't have to pay for those free things over and over again, once we have gotten them. Real freedom is when you can stop paying for the right to keep what you already have.


  1. Taxes are too high, I agree with you on this. I also can see what people mean about wanting to live in the moment, and not think about things beyond what is observable.