31 July 2021

The Importance of Finding Joy in Simple Things

This world is crazy and it is just getting more so.  How do I cope?

I spend workweek evenings living on an acre of desert land I bought within commuting distance from my job.

My first shelter was a geodesic dome greenhouse that I built from a kit.  I didn't anchor it down as well as the instructions said and a big wind picked it up, tore it apart, and deposited it in a neighbor's field.  I found it and rebuilt it again, did a better job of tying it to the ground, and ultimately covered it with a much more durable tarp.  I don't live in it anymore, but it has proven very good for storage.

The dome made a lot of noise and even though I had a fine bedframe and bed, I was losing sleep with the original polyester sheeting cover snapping in the wind and getting torn up over the weeks.  I thought about how to solve the problem and settled on buying a trailered MacGregor 25 sailboat from a guy on a nearby lake.  It was much cheaper than a comparable RV and gives me the added bonus of naturally being secure from cows and coyotes that tear things up.  My bed and frame are shoe-horned in the galley area and I don't have to worry about my 1-ton boat blowing away.

Recent rains have brought out horseflies and mosquitoes, so I have a mosquito net up to protect me from the various bugs that like to nibble on me when I try to sleep.  So far, the situation works well and I have weathered some strong storms that shook the boat hard but kept me dry and protected.

You may be wondering why I titled this "finding joy in simple things", after I describe what a lot of people would describe as pretty strange and primitive living conditions.

I get out on the deck of my boat and look up at the sky.  I get there when it is still light out and I look at the clouds in the sky.  As time passes toward dusk, the clouds get colored and are amazing to behold.  There are often stormclouds that come off the mountains just east of me, bringing very pleasant and cool breezes (I like a good stiff wind) and dramatic scenes as the sun sets.

Once the files and mosquitoes settle down after dusk, I can get out from under my mosquito net and look up at the stars, which are simply incredible.  If the moon is not casting a dim light over the desert at the moment, I can actually see the march of the constellations and planets and even the Milky Way is usually visible, looking like a spray of clouds in the heavens. I usually drift off to sleep that way and something will wake me up later to actually move into the galley and get into my proper bed.

Mornings supply a similar scene as sundown, although with colors like pink and purple. 

So, in the face of corruption and unkindness from all directions, I can get away and enjoy the beauties that God, our Father in Heaven, has provided for us.  It probably doesn't require a desert locale or a boat to look into the skies and enjoy the wonders of the heavens, but I know that it took a conscious choice to re-aquaint myself with them. You might do something similar and find elusive joy.

As we toil through a world falling into despair, we can turn to simple and unaffected things with which God has blessed us and find joy in his promises of a blessed future to those who turn to him. Better things can be ahead!