Wednesday, March 11, 2009

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Of the six elements contributing to a good life (as determined by Aldo Leopold), work and food would seem to be the most essential, air and sunshine taken for granted and adventure and love superfluous. Yet after months' of subsisting on interesting work and good food, I'm aching for air and sunshine, more so adventure. Adventure, adventure, adventure.

Thoreau's famous observation -- "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" -- still rings true today. People tell me to start with the basics -- slog through the day, put dinner on the table -- everything else will fall into place. Sunshine, adventure, just have to wait for the weekend, the summer, next year, do your duty today and dream of tomorrow. But then tomorrow doesn't come, people get so comfortable in the day-to-day that they temper ambitions. Is it better to recognize little happinesses where you are, in what you're doing, or forever long for something else? Dare to try something new, or appreciate what you have? Can you have both work and adventure? Does either matter if the sun is shining and you don't care?

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