Saturday, October 24, 2015

Football Counter-Programming 2015--Week 8

Did you miss me last weekend? (Did you even notice that I was gone?)

Well, I was. I was with my family at the Procter Camp and Conference Center down south of Columbus and we were enjoying a family weekend with some of the members of my church. We carved pumpkins, enjoyed the bright (if colder than I wanted) weather, ate good food, and found as much time as we could to relax.

Some of that time was spent watching some of the key college football games of the weekend--but only if you wanted to participate. And I tried to do very little of that. Because I've got a standard of avoiding college games to uphold. And you expect nothing less of me.

But that was last week and now is this week. And you need to keep on avoiding college football for another day. And Football Counter-Programming is here to help you with that effort.

So, let's see what cryptic nonsense the Log Lady has to offer me this week. Will I be in a better mood than two weeks ago?


Well . . .


How is this going to help me? What sort of theme can I dig out of this quote? Do I write about eyes? Or should I try to write something about the nature of the soul? (Or maybe um . . . soul food?) Or, maybe darkness? Or something about beauty?


Hmm. Well . . . let's try beauty.

What do YOU think is beautiful? When you are seeking out a beautiful thing, maybe to help calm you down when you are upset. Or maybe to recenter yourself after a tough week of work. When you need something to soothe . . . what is beautiful to you?

For me . . . I enjoy nature. One of my fondest memories of growing up was a random weekend trip that I took with my parents to a camp ground an hour of so from our home--Lake Blackshear. My siblings were all grown, out of the house, in college . . . just elsewhere that weekend. So I was camping with Mom and Dad on my own. And the memory is not so much about what we did. Because we didn't do that much. And the beauty wasn't overwhelming. We weren't in the North Georgia campgrounds where all of the trees and waterfalls can be found, where the hiking trails help you step away from daily life. We were just as a camp ground, beside the lake that is often squishy with mud and plant fronds.

No . . . what I liked about that trip was the simple act of getting up in the morning, when the sun was low on the horizon, making the lake water shimmer, a slight chill in the morning breeze. I was up and everything was quiet. I poured myself a hot cup of coffee, sat in a folding chair outside the camper, and enjoyed the sunrise.

It's a memory of simplicity and quietness. It's not stunning or dramatic or filled with the insights of other people. It was just me with my thoughts and a moment of burgeoning adulthood and independence. I was opening myself up to the world just a little bit, with the help of a still natural moment.

Blendon Woods metro park
I've had other encounters with nature--walking in the Columbus-area metro parks surrounded by autumn's golden leaves, enjoying some solitude and the distant hum of cars on roads. Or hiking with family along trails on the way to this fall or that spot, chatting with siblings or spouses, listening to nieces and nephew. I've even had some quiet moments while catching my breath during a driveway snow shoveling session in the dark hours before taking kids to school and heading off to work.

Do you have moments of natural appreciation that mean something to you? Or have you found beauty in a piece of art handing in a gallery? Or maybe a photograph of your kids or a particularly nice flower in your yard? Or something you have seen in travels that made you stop and enjoy?

Leave a comment and tell me what is beautiful to you.

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