“There is an intense but simple thrill in setting off in the morning on a mountain trail, knowing that everything you need is on your back. It is a confidence in having left the inessentials behind and of entering a world of natural beauty that has not been violated, where money has no value, and possessions are a dead weight. The person with the fewest possessions is the freest.” – Paul Theroux
In this season of packed shopping malls and crashing websites, traffic jams and rage over parking spaces, Paul Theroux would be considered a heretic, yet his authentic perspective as world traveler and outdoorsman is a refreshing alternative to all of the commercialism. As outlandish as his quote, “the person with the fewest possessions is the freest,” may seem at a time of year marked by materialism, there is no greater gift than family, friends, and the solitude of the great outdoors, spending time among nature and all of its wonderful creatures.
Perhaps that’s what John Lennon had in mind when he wrote the lyrics for Imagine:
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
When you give a gift this holiday season, give yourself as well; and when you open a gift, cherish that someone thought of you.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.