As I drag an assortment of beer cans home to add to my collection, I think of how much others in my life influence my actions. I’m not talking of peer pressure—I was never one to bend to it, not even in resistance. I have never, for instance, worn odd socks on purpose. But there are people that have left their marks upon me forever.
The obvious, of course, would be parental. Yesterday, in pouring rain and dire cold, I hiked through the local woodlands. As a teenager, my parents didn’t recognize this gangly stranger (I was gangly, way back when), but here I am, an adult just past it’s ‘best before’ date, leading a lifestyle that would be 100% parent approved if they were only here to witness it, as I walk in the woods, rain or shine, summer through winter, and all the stuff in between. And while I don’t own a cottage in the traditional sense (as in recreational extra home), I live in one as primary and only residence. And so, one foot in front of the other, I follow in their footsteps.
What surprises me most, however, are the others in my life that have moulded me just as much. My most frugal friends who live in the woods in a cabin without road access, for instance. Their extreme frugality has allowed them a life full of the luxuries that really count; watching the sun go down in their lakeshore gazebo or watching opera (served with wine and cheese) on their 16” TV, or reading and discussing fine literature gleaned from used book stores and library sales. There’s is an example I have emulated on many (but less extreme) levels, finally including, reaching down every so often to pick up a discarded beer can for the future pleasure of getting a few dollars more when I haul in my cache.
And how can I miss the latest of mentors to change the course of my life, with, among other things, the gift of ink, encouragement and sage advice.
Happy Mothers Day, Moms and Mentors alike.
Image: Gelatin print, 9x12, work in progress, this one sit as is until some new carves come to mind. I’ve learned the hard way not to hurry to ‘finish’ a print, but to set it aside, and revisit later.