I spent a little bit of time looking at cabins for sale in the mountains this week. It's been months since I last did this, and I certainly wasn't looking with any particular seriousness this time around. But it's still entertaining to see what is available and imagining moving out to the middle of the woods. The past couple of weeks have been disappointing and frustrating for me, and the mountains have always brought me a sense of comfort and peace which I do not find elsewhere. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to take a few days off and visit my place of retreat right now. So what is it about the mountains that I can't find elsewhere?
Over the weekend, I joined my parents in attending a gun show. Normally I find these events to be a waste of my time. Most of the vendors display modern weapons with composite stocks, overly-priced shotguns, antiques from WWI and WWII, or handguns with slides and clips. But none of these guns interest me. I'm not into shooting sports (although I was an archery instructor for a summer camp), and hunting in my little neck of the woods is not good enough to justify spending more than $300-$450 on a shotgun.
For the past week and a half, I have been listening to a lecture course on the history surrounding the theory of evolution, and it has left me contemplating how ideas, particularly ways of understanding, spread and change with the amount of information we have. Today, the concept of natural selection acting to produce changes in species over the course of generations strikes most people as logical and obvious, but Darwin spent many years working out that very logic after his famous visit to the Galapagos Islands. We, of course, have knowledge of genetics which had not yet been discovered at that time although experiments on inheritance of various traits were being conducted during Darwin's lifetime.
Memorial Day is supposed to be a day of remembrance for the soldiers who never made it home, but more often than not, it turns into a celebration of the beginning of summer for many families. As we lose another generation of veterans to inevitable old age, the memories of those who fell in combat during their time of service become lost. But it doesn't have to be so. Not everyone who is a storyteller has a gift for writing or the confidence to put pen to paper.
With scattered rainstorms threatening my area during most of the weekend, my parents and I decided to take a day trip to visit some local shops and have a late lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. One of the shops we stopped by is located in an old mill. The third floor of the building includes a history display that features clothing and black and white photographs as well as the old mill workings. While perusing these artifacts, I found myself wishing that my current writing project was not set in modern times.