All I Need

A few nights ago when we saw our friend’s newly redone home, I immediately developed remodeled house envy which included no-carpets-and-therefore-no-spots-on-the-carpet envy, new-window-covering envy, non-moldy-shower envy, and new-and-clean-kitchen cabinet envy.

The next morning I took Sugarplum hiking with me. She’s the happiest of the three dogs. She skips along, thrilled at the world, loving other people and dogs though skeptical of horses.

She’s a dream to hike with because she just trots happily alongside, ears bouncing, tail wagging, not too many stops for sniffing, the occasional break for a joyful roll in the grass.

The sun was warm on my back. The breeze and the occasional patches of shade were cool.

As my legs pulled uphill, I listened to the crunch of the trail under my feet and the call of the first spring birds, stopped to gaze at meadows or turned to look behind me out over the valley and across the plains to the east.

And I knew, this was all I needed. I didn’t need a remodeled house or the latest fashion (okay, maybe a cute pair of shoes every now and then), I didn’t need a fancy new car or a second home in the mountains.

No—all I needed was this. One foot in front of the other, moving in time with my breath. All I needed was the outcropping of rock under the pine trees; the big flat slab of stone that had broken away from the rest; the crumbling log by the edge of the trail. All I needed was a happy dog as my companion and our combined joy in the movement of our bodies. All I needed was the breeze swaying the tall grass, the tiny yellow and purple flowers of spring and the sound of the trail under my feet.

Chris ChandlerComment