August threw me from the heights of unstructured leisure to the rude awakening of a tightly scheduled existence with barely enough time to catch my breath. Now, in the middle of September, I realize I never took the time to review the best small pleasures of last month. They were delightful and deserve the proper amount of recognition and gratitude so I’m posting them without guilt even though summer vacation is long gone.
- Stargazing. Light pollution makes for a very disappointing stargazing experience in my neighborhood. When we camped in the Adirondacks in early August, I was thrilled to find a visible swath of Milky Way and a glittering mass of stars filling the clear night sky. My experience was the same as Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman when he sings, “When I look at the stars, I see Someone else, when I look at the stars, I feel like myself.”
- Sitting around a campfire on a cool night in the Adirondacks. This includes hanging with family and making s’mores. No other explanation needed.
- Listening to The Girl With All the Gifts audiobook with my family. The Girl With All the Gifts is a great book that generated a bit of communal gagging and several stimulating discussions. There is nothing like vicariously battling zombies to bring a family together. (Book review can be found here.)
- Vistas. I’m talking about the view from Mount Defiance looking across Fort Ticonderoga and Lake Champlain and the panorama of wilderness from the fire tower on top of Snowy Mountain. Nothing was much higher than four thousand feet but the views were spectacular and all the more rewarding if effort was required to get my middle-aged, sadly out-of-shape body to the lookout spot (i.e., the 7 mile Snowy Mountain butt-kicking haul).
- Kayaking on a perfect summer evening. Simply sublime…