OUTDOOR Adventures By Brian G. Schommer The leaves are changing their colors and the temperatures are starting to drop a bit more each day. The aisles at the stores are filled with various candy, …
By Brian G. Schommer
The leaves are changing their colors and the temperatures are starting to drop a bit more each day. The aisles at the stores are filled with various candy, decorations, and costumes that call out to everyone that Halloween is fast approaching. If you are a “Fall” person, this is your time of the year. I like to think that the change of the season is done by a master artist who takes a completed piece of art and converts one breath taking masterpiece into another without changing the canvas. One minute, the canvas is covered with trees adorned with full canopies of green, knee-high green corn on the Fourth of July, boats out on the lakes and rivers and the sun shining brightly over the blue sky and fluffy white clouds. The artist then pulls out their pallet and changes the color scheme to that of darker reds, oranges, browns, and yellows. The canopies first change color and then in a blink of an eye, the trees are barren of their leaves which have fallen to cover the ground. The corn becomes golden brown stalks and eventually the fields are cut down where only low stalks are visible. The celebrations go from those of picnics and fireworks to gatherings where booya and chili are served, candy collected, and appreciation given. The artist has taken one masterpiece and turned it into another. This phenomenon happens repeatedly, and the masterpiece is always changing to give us something similar yet different to experience with each passing day. Our outdoor adventures often need to be adapted due to the artist choice of expressing themselves on the canvas. Adapting may be as simple as adding a layer of clothing (or removing one if pheasant hunting on a warm, fall day of nearly 80 degrees). Rain gear may become necessary should the artist change the background to one that depicts the shorter, cloudier, and cooler days of fall. No matter what the artist decides on any given day, as observers of the masterpiece, we can appreciate it, no matter what colors exit the pallet and land on the canvas thanks to the gifted hand of the artist. But do we? Do we really appreciate the masterpiece that is afforded to us each day? Life has a way of reminding me daily, through music, of just how important it is to appreciate the masterpiece that the artist has provided for all of us. For example, as I am writing this column, I continuously hear the words of a song from one of my favorite musicals of all time, Godspell. The song title is “Day by Day” and the words are very simple. “Day by Day… Three Things I Pray… To see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly… Day by Day.” It is not my intent to get up on the alter, a soapbox or behind any podium here. If you want to take this column from a Christian point of view, go for it. If you take it from a more Native American, indigenous American, other spiritual or just from a “life changes daily and there is no reason why” viewpoint, the fact is, we all can take some value from the song “Day by Day,” even if it is just caring about each other and our world a little more. But… do we? As I write, another song is popping into my head as I ask the question to myself, “but do I?” A part of the David Bowie song “Changes” will not stop repeating itself. “Chch- changes, just gonna have to be a different man,” tells me that in fact, while I may try to appreciate the changes provided by the artist, I don’t always succeed. On those days when I have an outdoor adventure planned that may need some adapting, like many, I complain. Nobody likes to have their plans changed due to something completely outside of their control, right? Like rescheduling a balloon excursion many times over the past three years. Hopefully, this will become part of an outdoor adventure column and more important, an experience with my lovely bride of over 25 years that we can share together to appreciate and celebrate the artist’s work. I am going to give Bowie’s words a shot here over the next few months. We are reminded in November to give thanks. Maybe our world will benefit if we try to do this more often than one Thursday a year? Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.