20 May 2009

Zen in Pine Mills

May 19, 2009, 8:59 p.m.

I am due back at the Armadillo Farm in Luckenbach this coming Friday for the Memorial Day weekend. At the end of Pickin' in the Pines on Sunday I had planned to go back to Canyon Lake, a cheap place with which I am familiar, and set up camp there until Friday. Before leaving here on Sunday, I asked T-Roy's father what the charge would be to stay here. When he said $5.00 American per night, I jumped on it. There is both running water and a hot shower within steps of my camper. More importantly, at the risk of repeating myself, this little piece of timber is prettier than a picture postcard.

The thing is, I thought this was a regular day-to-day campground with that special event occurring here twice per year. It is not. Nobody explained that to me. This timber is only open to the public for Pickin' in the Pines in May and in September. The upshot is that I have this place completely to myself. Mr. Miller has left the water heater on in the shower building for me and only me until the end of the week.

The evening is enchanting here right now. It is perfectly quiet. The whip-poor-will is not even mouthing off yet. I can hear a dog barking way, way off somewhere. Dogs just cannot abide a quiet night, can they? It is probably 72 F and heading toward a low in the mid-fifties. The last two nights I have had to run the propane heater in the camper a bit in the early morning hours to keep the chill off.

A guy who lives most of his life in the midwest such as myself gets about 250 evenings as wonderful as this in his lifetime if he lives to 70. That is not enough. Actually, the situation is worse than that. In our younger days during a breathtakingly beautiful evening such as this one, we are completely distracted by this and that such that the evening wanes and disappears without our having truly noticed it. We are occupied with such things as pulling the boat out of the water or watching the steaks on the grill or putting some goddamned thing or other away or trying to get into some woman's pants or, GOD FORBID, mowing lawn or any number of other things. (I would love to get Thoreau's opinion on lawn mowing in 21st Century America.) We are so habituated to that kind of mindless, bullshit activity that it is very difficult to sit our asses down, be quiet, and focus on the moment Zen style. I am going to practice focusing on the moment Zen style this evening as soon as I shut off this laptop and have one of Little Debbie's individually wrapped Oatmeal Cream Pies because we simply miss too many of those 250 evenings like this one that are right under our nose. Every evening like this one that I have left in my life is going to get my undivided attention.

I do not know why people have to study this Zen thing so diligently. It is a piece of cake, and I am off to do some more right now. . . . . .

In my jammies already.


Bloggerboy FFM said...

The Piney Woods of East Texas are mighty fine. I had a job in a former life that took me through those parts several times. If my memory serves me, Nacogdoches had a neat town center. Found an interesting link about main street renovation projects in Texas: http://www.ci.nacogdoches.tx.us/departments/mainstreet.php

Steve said...

I took a look at that site, Bloggerboy. Cool program and cool results. There are fascinating old buildings all over the place, and this program appears to place an emphasis on preserving them. I am on main street in Fredericksburg right now, which has a very impressive main street. This town was founded by Germans, and the architecture is a little out of the ordinary for Texas as a result. Very, very attractive and interesting, though obviously not in east Texas.