Slow Ride, Full Heart

Finding Joy with Evan in First Gear


“Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy —

to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work,” — Kierkegaard (1843) 


When I go to the ranch it usually takes me a day or so to loosen up, to let go of the death grip I have on my busy life. That’s when I don’t have Evan in tow. When Lauren and I are down there by ourselves I have a little too much time to think about—and feel guilty about—what I’m not doing. I actually have to work at letting go, relaxing. Maybe you can relate.

On the other hand, when Evan is with me, our busyness is play. Just ask my nephew Wes (pictured above). He gave Evan his very first ride on a tractor.

Joy is the serious business of heaven.

C. S. Lewis

While I’m pretty good at juggling anxieties, keeping those worry plates spinning, I find it next to impossible to balance time on the tractor with Evan and my worries over the budget for my department back at DTS. Climbing the windmill, or tossing a line in the river to try to snag a catfish, or “going on explores” do not comport well with my gradebook, or my next committee report. My “professional life” takes a temporary back seat and I let Evan drive.

Great masses of people these days live out their lives in a dull and loveless stupor. Sensitive persons find our inartistic manner of existence oppressive and painful, and they withdraw from sight…I believe what we lack is joy.

The ardor that a heightened awareness imparts to life, the conception of life as a happy thing, as a festival… But the high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy.

Herman Hesse

May I suggest, as I have before, that we take time for the little joys. They will, unless you stop to offer them a ride, allow you to pass them by. They will outgrow you. It isn’t the other way around. Look in the rearview mirror and they are gone. And once those unattended joys are grown and out the door, and the neglected opportunities lay discarded along the side of the road, you will be left with the sure knowledge that the thing you were pursuing all along went missing somehow — and it was standing right there, right there, all along. Waiting for you to say, “climb on up and let’s go shred some brush.”

Here’s a link to a very short movie clip—first time I’ve tried this, so let me know if it doesn’t work. It’s of Evan and his uncle Wes going for Evan’s first ever ride on “Max the Trac.” Max was Dad’s name. We spent a lot of tractor time together.

2017 3 March iPhone .MOV 3119

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