Today was happily spent off the grid. Other than this note to you and a morning entry in my journal, I did not touch, think about, or utilize anything that involved technology or social media.
I have lived in my surroundings and within my comfort zone or things I utilize to keep me comfortable for a long time now. For as long as I know, I have stayed as I was. I used the only tools I ever knew to keep my sanity, as well as protect my emotions.
At times, I limited myself to the same surroundings in order to keep within my measure of comfort.
Meanwhile, an entire world remains to be seen. There is so much to learn and so much I can do. There are places I have never been to before and things I have yet to experience. Life is literally right outside my door. The only way I can live it is if I decide to broaden my horizons.
Instead of regarding yesterday and its memory, or clinging to a comfort (even while at the cost of my own discomfort) and rather than staying locked in, or remaining stagnantly still in fear of change or lonesomeness; I need to step outside of the circle I kept myself accustomed to.
I was part of a trip this morning. Leaving at 7:00am, we took the scenic route from my place at Spook Rock to the town of New Canaan, Connecticut.
We traveled through back-roads, weaving through the upwards and downward streets, hugging mountainsides that border the Hudson River, and moving through towns and countryside that I never saw or knew existed.
There is so much in the world to see.
There is so much to do and so much of it is close by.
There is no reason not to see it
I never drove through this part of Connecticut before. I never saw this part of the country. I never saw the rolling green hills and the vast properties. As we arrived in New Canaan, we pulled into a parking lot and made our way to an outdoor car show.
We walked through the streets, which were clean of any litter. No one pushed and no one shoved. People smiled and said the words, “Hello,” or, “Thank you,” and, “Excuse me,” when trying to pass by.
We made it to the show in less than an hour. We walked the streets of New Canaan and saw different cars from different years. We saw different styles from different makers. If the day ended after this, it would have been sufficient, and my day would have been complete.
I returned home before noon. Same as the way to New Canaan was pretty, the drive home was equally beautiful. The sky was springtime blue. The wind was warm. The day was easy and the traffic across the Tappan Zee Bridge was more than kind. If the day ended here—still, it would have been sufficient.
I thought about the idea of expanding my horizons. I thought about the recent commitment I made to myself.
I am to create small goals for and achieve them on a daily basis.
With that in mind, I decided to teach myself how to fly fish.
I have a new rod. I have a box with different flies. I could use either wet flies or dry flies. I needed to find a place with some room. This way I could avoid hooking something or someone during my cast.
With this being my first time fishing with a fly rod and without knowing any technique, I tied my first fly and tossed it in the water.
The trout in the nearby stream are small. They are mostly rainbows. They are certainly a pretty fish. I tried different color flies. I tried different techniques. I tried wet flies that sink a little and dry flies that float along the surface.
Unfortunately, none of the trout liked what I had to offer them. However, there is an old famous saying that holds verily and completely true.
“A bad day of fishing is still better than a great day at work.”
I don’t mind that I didn’t catch anything.
I did what I set out to do. I taught myself how to fly fish.
I stood on the side of a quiet stream and felt the sun on my face.
What more could I have asked for?
Nothing, I say.
If the day ended there—still, it would have been sufficient.
Aside from writing this to you, and answering a few phone calls, I did not touch anything that had to do with modern technology. Today, I decided to experience life. I decided to go off the grid. I stepped away from what I always knew and decided to learn something different. Rather than wonder if I will ever have certain memories again, I decided to make new memories. Instead of sitting in my thoughts, which lately, have been a bit more than I can handle; I decided to get out of my own way and broaden my horizons
If my day ended like this—still, it would have been sufficient
After dinner, I took a drive with my family. I drove them through Harriman State Park and to the same drive I went on the other day. We passed several deer on the side of the road. We drove passed the lakes and through the mountains. We went passed the boat launch at Lake Sebago and passed the old St John’s Church. By this time, the sun began to set. The colors of the sky and mountaintops reflected on the surface of the lake. The clouds took on an appeal of pastel color.
I saw a cardinal.
I watched the sun go down.
I ate a good meal.
I spent time with good people
And so the day will end like this . . .