Stop And Smell The Pine Trees

Busy, busy, busy. Seems everyone nowadays is busier than ever. Constantly running around, shuttling kids here and there, tweeting this, posting that. A distracted life that, if we’re not careful, can end up resembling what Shakespeare penned, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

I was almost that selfsame idiot this past weekend during an overnight camp out up American Fork Canyon. Our local Boy Scout troop had decided to go to a favorite campsite appropriately named Butch Cassidy’s Hideout. Not because Butch Cassidy ever actually stayed there (to my knowledge), but due to the three-courses-high remains of an ill-fated log cabin. More of a wind break than an actual structure. It is a beautiful locale straight out of an REI catalog, and also where my then 13-year old son broke his elbow while rock climbing. But that is a story for another day.

Friday night we parked, packed our gear up a short 100 yard incline, and set up camp. We ate chili dogs and burnt Jiffy Pop popcorn. The weather was perfect. And except for a slight chill around 4:00 a.m. and the chattering of boys into the wee hours of the night, we had a perfectly blissful time.

Then I became an idiot.

I woke up thinking about all the things I needed to do that Saturday. I thought about freelance projects that were due the next week. I thought about errands and chores and to-dos.

All while rolling up my sleeping bag and stowing my tent. While hauling my gear down the hill to my car—knowing I would need to make two trips and hoping to “get a jump on things” before the others awoke.

I reached the road. And the serene morning quiet, the kind you can only find in the mountains, was shattered by the deafening roar of a jacked-up Ford F-350 Diesel barreling down the canyon. And I thought to myself, dang man what’s the hurry?

Then it hit me. I saw it. I was just like the guy in the ridiculous, over-sized truck. Only my roar was inside my head. My deafening thoughts barreling through my synapses.

Instantly my head cleared. I paused and looked up at the stunning rock formations, some still snow-capped, just catching the first glints of morning sunlight. I heard the rushing water of the canyon stream, birds chirping in the trees. I inhaled deeply through my nose and smelled the dew and the pine sap. My mind was no longer busy.

I suddenly had all the time in the world.

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