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Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 10_6_8
06/08/2010 02:57 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon

by David Lyon

6-8-2010

           I wish I could retain every sensory feeling I enjoyed while on vacation this past month. I brought my camera. It’s not a complex one, but for its size it takes remarkably fine pictures. When I uploaded the pictures and edited them to highlight favorite segments, I was instantly transported back to places that were at once beautiful, restful and fun.

            This month, Lisa and I were in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and Canada. In Colorado, we hiked in places we had never been. We hiked up to Crater Lake at 10,000 feet. Still not out of breath, we had a picnic lunch and played Frisbee with friends. Another day, we went to the driving range and practiced our new golf swings. Whether we sliced or reached the target, we laughed together and created new memories we’ll always cherish. And, somehow, food in the mountains just tastes better. It couldn’t be the lack of oxygen; it must be the fresh air and surroundings that make burgers, ice-cream and farmer’s market samples taste so fine.

            In Canada, our eyes couldn’t adequately take in the magnificence of the Canadian Rockies. They were overwhelming to behold. They caused us to feel incredibly and insignificantly human. With respect for the nature surrounding us, we approached the trails that led us to new heights near Lake Louise. Reaching Lake Agnes and the Tea House above us, was a goal we found exhilarating. Near Fernie, fly-fishing in the Elk River and at Cataract Creek was a unique outdoor experience we had never known. We had lots of bites on our hooks and we landed a few, too. Catch and release meant all we kept were pictures and thrilling memories of the brook trout we caught. My favorite part was standing in waders in the middle of the river. I was spared the cold temperatures of the waters, but I loved the sweeping feeling of the river’s energy. On our way down the road, we saw a grizzly bear and her two cubs from the car (thankfully), and fresh bear tracks near where we were fishing (frightfully). In Cranbrook, we also played our first round of 18 holes of golf. It only felt like 36. Deer in the rough and a coyote running down the fairway made it a scenic game, as well.

            Lisa and I have fun, together; but, it was the company of friends from Houston, that added to our enjoyable vacation memories. Now, we trade emails, pictures, and special stories that take us back to places we shared for only a short time. The places are still there; the friends are still among us; and next summer will come. Now, when I want to “get away” all I have to do is think about that river, its energy, the slow graceful arc of the fly fishing rod, and the small fly dropping silently onto the water. Perfect.

            Now we’re home where life’s other obligations await us. I’m grateful that work and recreation can coexist. One makes the other seem so important and necessary. I didn’t always understand that. I used to think that my work was also my pleasure, which it can be, but now it doesn’t come at the expense of recreation for its own sake. I’m glad I understand its value now. I’m glad that my wife and friends could help me see it and feel it.

            As summer vacations come to an end, I know how you feel if you’re stepping off the plane, unpacking your shorts and t-shirts, and trading them in for rush hour and suits and ties. Ah, work and recreation are cycles that come and go. They remind us of the value of the other and how important are our friends, colleagues, and family every day.

            I look forward to seeing you soon. From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

_________________________________________________

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