Monday, August 16, 2010

Happiness Is...

1. Spending the first cool, low humidity evening in weeks collecting acorns with your amazing, beautiful, talented-far-beyond-anything-that-could-possibly-be-explained-by-either-Nature-OR-Nurture children.

2. Being faced with the can't lose choice between preparing those acorns for eating or storing them for planting next spring... then doing some of both.

3. Gathering acorns from the feet of giants... from the trio of matriarch bur oaks behind Farm House on the Carleton College campus, with massive branches stretching 50 feet from the trunk and sweeping almost to the ground... from the red oak next to our friends' driveway with the largest trunk I've ever seen on a Minnesota oak but with half its time-ravaged crown missing after decades of storms and lightning strikes - who know how many more years it will rain down acorns, so every year counts... from stately bur oak right behind it, with the chain winch wrapped around a stalwart branch for lifting engines from the Volvos our friends' neighbor restores for sale - a true shade tree mechanic!

4. Acorns in the fridge to provide sustenance through the winter and the promise of new life in the spring - a feeling of security that extends deep into the mists of human history, but which we have forgotten.

5. Showing your kids some multi-colored oak galls and having them say, "Oh, cool!"

6. Realizing how blessed you are to be living this life, in this place, at this time.

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