An Appreciation of it All

2 Jun

So much I did not notice about life in my youth.  The seeds had been planted, and perhaps seedlings had broken ground when I was pre-teen, but a full-on, total immersion in the appreciation of life, that took time.

One of my favorite childhood memories was actually an action of inaction, laying down on the grass, under the massive willow tree on our property, watching as the thin branches swayed in the breeze, pillows floating above it all, a feeling of distinct peace swelling me beyond the proportions of such a young boy.  Without knowing how to verbalize such things, I was at peace in the world, feeling as though I did belong, feeling as though I did fit in the grander scheme of the universe, feeling small and yet capable.

More naps these days

Those feelings were fleeting back in those days. Finding my footing, deciphering ethereal clues, that took time.  In my twenties I found more answers in nature, hiking trails, scaling peaks, pushing limits, crossing cirques, tiptoeing ridges, being one with, making love to a world above the clouds, body and mind melding, and that feeling of belonging increased, that appreciation increased, answers to long unanswered questions took shape.  I learned how to feel sights. I learned how to hear shapes. I learned that transformations take precious time, in nature, in ourselves, and patience accompanied that knowledge.

One feels small in nature.  One feels, at times, insignificant, a tiny speck on the canvas of life, and in feeling that there are two opposing reflections: one, that you are meaningless and two, that you are one of a kind, among billions of similar miracles, unique in DNA.  The Yin and Yang of it all, meaningless and yet completely invaluable.

As the years accumulate, I am left with increasing reflections, and those reflections lead to great appreciations.  I do not work as hard as I once did. I see no need in it. I take more time to enjoy walks, enjoy talks with my partner, and enjoy the fine Art of Living.  I am comfortable within, amused by the changes to my exterior, and much more accepting of others.  We all struggle. We all have days when we wake up and feel foreign, you know, like we just don’t fit, and that affects our moods and our actions and, well, I need to realize that on a regular basis and cut my fellow travelers some slack.

Just relax!  Breathe deeply!  Take a gander around me, immerse myself in the wonder of it all. Find a willow tree to lay under, and time-machine back to those early days, back when I instinctively knew what was really important, what was vital for my happiness . . .

Loving others, loving myself, and being grateful for every single day I’m allowed to be a part of this magical mystery tour!  That’s what it all comes down to, cutting through the bullshit, setting aside all of the mundane we think is so important, all of the nonsense we spend so many years chasing, yearning for, bottom line, the final word, is . . .



“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

22 Responses to “An Appreciation of it All”

  1. marlenebertrand June 2, 2021 at 4:09 pm #

    What a wonderful description of the retirement lifestyle. I wish I was “there,” living in the moment.

    • Billybuc June 2, 2021 at 4:18 pm #

      It will arrive quicker than you think, Marlene, and I know you’ll enjoy the heck out of it when it arrives. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You are appreciated!

  2. Linda Lum June 2, 2021 at 4:38 pm #

    Bill, thank you for the reminder (again. I’m stubborn). I spend so many hours “perfecting” my little corner of the world, and only moments to sit back and enjoy it all. Me-thinks I’ve got those priorities reversed.

    • Billybuc June 2, 2021 at 6:37 pm #

      Linda, my plans for our backyard are mammoth, and will require years of transformation…but it isn’t going to be done today. Today I’m sitting in the shade talking to my dogs. 🙂

  3. Janine Huldie June 2, 2021 at 4:52 pm #

    Aw, that final word says it all. Glad you are enjoying your retired days and honestly if anyone deserves it, it is you, my friend 😀

  4. Billybuc June 2, 2021 at 6:36 pm #

    Thank you, Janine! I hope this finds you and your family healthy and happy.

  5. My Very Own Writing Coach June 3, 2021 at 2:12 am #

    A lot to take in, Bill, but you summarized it beautifully. I know right where you’re at.

    • Billybuc June 3, 2021 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you Sir! I am pleased that you enjoyed it. Have a brilliant weekend!

  6. suziehq June 4, 2021 at 6:05 am #

    Beautifully said Bill and having been given early retirement and making the big decision to up sticks and move to a new country, we have definitely come to appreciate the simple things in life and be grateful for every day we have had here, best decision ever! Enjoy every moment Bill as I know you do, have a great weekend with Bev xxxx

  7. Billybuc June 4, 2021 at 1:36 pm #

    Irish, it’s always good to hear from you. Judging from your Facebook posts, you are totally enjoying your next nation and all that retirement has for you. Hugs from Olympia and hi to the Mickster!

  8. explorereikiworld June 4, 2021 at 6:22 pm #

    This is such a beautiful writing Bill.
    In your twenties usually the adrenaline is high to conquer the world, and you chose to lay under your tree and be at peace. Wow! I bow thee!!

    Being in Gratitude and Empathy sure have come a long way for you. Bless you!

  9. Billybuc June 5, 2021 at 2:05 pm #

    Thank you so much, Ruchira! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  10. Andrea Stephenson June 5, 2021 at 5:27 pm #

    I think I’ve always found that peace in nature, particularly the sea, but I don’t know that I always appreciated it in the way I do now – I guess that’s the beauty of age!

  11. Billybuc June 8, 2021 at 3:54 pm #

    It’s certainly one of the beauties of age, Andrea. I can think of a couple more, for sure, but I do have a new appreciation for life. Thanks for that comment, my friend.

  12. Cecil Kingsley Hutchinson June 17, 2021 at 11:51 am #

    Dearest brother, it took me a while to get here. So sorry.

    More and more I see sublime poetry in your prose. Indeed, I can take it and re-assemble into stages of life. Ha-ha. I see so much reflections! Yes, you have mentioned the word but long before I got to it, I was thinking of the miracle of creation … of how the Master Weaver shapes us all –necessary sparks on this mundane but necessary sojourn of the eternal.

    You write with a softness, a tenderness … a gentleness of the Heart which comes with much experience. No easy feat! Love you, Bro! The next time you muse, think of me as we lie together, like seekers of Love, under a great big willow, whispering praises to the moon.

  13. Billybuc June 17, 2021 at 1:39 pm #

    Manatita, my friend, I hope you are well. When online friends suddenly disappear, I tend to wonder about health. Hopefully I am wrong and you have been busy instead.

    Thank you for your kind words. There are days when the words flow like a gentle stream; others where barely a trickle can be found. This was a stream.

    love and blessings always

    • manatit June 17, 2021 at 3:23 pm #

      You and I we are always busy. So much of ‘duty’ in life! Duty of beauty, love, art … but they blend bro … they blend in harmony at some distant ocean and horizons edge.

      • Billybuc June 17, 2021 at 3:38 pm #

        They do indeed, my friend. They do indeed!

  14. Sarah Potter Writes June 17, 2021 at 3:46 pm #

    Like you, I used to love lying under a tree, looking through the branches at the sky. In my case, it was an oak tree, though I had to look out for falling acorns, especially when the grey squirrel was around to dislodge them! And, yes, I agree. It is all about cutting through the bullshit.

    Sending you a big hug from across the Pond. Wish I could send you breath of our countryside, too. It smells so sweet at the moment, after days of sunshine, followed by some heavy rainfall last night. I love the great outdoors and nature in all its glory.

    • Billybuc June 17, 2021 at 3:51 pm #

      Hello my friend! Welcome back! You have been missed.

      All is well here. Summer finally arrived and it is glorious. I have far too many chores and projects, but they keep me out of trouble, so there’s that.

      Sending you hugs back from Olympia. Stay safe and be well, my friend.

  15. Sue Dreamwalker July 6, 2021 at 5:29 pm #

    Wonderful musing dear Bill… And oh yes… definitely more naps! 😉 ….
    And the joy in retirement as such, is that you no longer have to rush, to try and cram in another days work after the daily grind one is over..
    You can save some for tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…. 😀

    Our moto is a little and often… 🙂 with lots of breaks in-between…
    Lovely read dear Bill… Good to be catching up a little again…
    Much love to you and your dear Wife….
    Sue ❤

  16. Billybuc July 6, 2021 at 7:32 pm #

    A little and often…oh how I love that motto. Thanks for sharing that. I think I’ll head outside and do a little. 🙂 Love and hugs from across The Pond.

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