I’m not a spontaneous guy, so for me to do two spontaneous things, out of schedule, in the same week, feels quite liberating! And it is a good reminder that letting myself become too regimented is a sure sign that I’m being pulled too far into the rat race, into the humdrum existence that I’ve always dreaded. Building a trail and listening to Texas folk-rock are good cures for that.
This past weekend, I was in Missouri visiting my grandfather and my parents (mostly the former since the latter then headed south to visit my sisters). Monday morning, I was out hiking at Lake Springfield, on the new Greater Ozarks Audubon Trail. Beautiful, lightly groomed trail, easily traversed. I encountered blue jays, cardinals, carolina chickadees, carolina wrens, tufted titmouses, downy woodpeckers, white-throated sparrows, and a red-headed woodpecker. Got out of the woods into an open grassy area, looked down, and the trail seemed awfully new. Rounded a corner, and it felt like I was in the opposite of Alice’s woods in Wonderland: there was a crew, digging up and grading a new trail. They asked me to join, and after demurring for a few minutes, I decided to pitch in for 45 or so. Pulled up dozens of rocks and loosened the soil for a whole 12 feet. Now I’m waiting for the group photo to show up on the Volunteers for Outdoor Missouri website.
Lake Springfield from the Bluff.
Tonight I was to meet with someone who is interested in learning more about the Baha’i Faith. I suppose we had some kind of miscommunication, as he didn’t show. Previously unbeknowst to me, there was to be a concert at the coffee shop that night, with $10 cover. Ended up chatting with the musician for a few minutes, Butch Morgan from Devine, TX. Decided that I should stay and listen to my fellow Texan, very far from my normal sad routine. Good fun songs, folk/rock somewhat in the vein of what Steve Earle or Willie would sound like if you scuffed them up a bit and made them drive to a coffee shop in Minnesota. Good choice: good reward: good songs. He certainly earned my last $10.