“You didn’t tell me you were gonna kill it!” This line, spoken by the astute Linus in the cherished cartoon “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”, well summed up my feelings regarding the recent vandalization of a beloved Black Hills landmark…
I am, of course, talking about the two misguided souls who took it upon themselves to remove decades-old mementos of those who find sanctuary in our beautiful surroundings. As the story goes, these individuals did so because they thought Poet’s Table was an eyesore. Whether this is true or if they were really just seeking their 15 minutes of fame could be debated lengthily. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. To be fair, they are (technically) correct. Many years ago, another misguided (albeit strong and tenacious) soul drug a table, some chairs and a cabinet and left them in a beautiful, hidden, place in our Hills. Today, we would call that littering. But, because he meant well, and because others have found such enjoyment from the site in the decades since, we choose to view it as a positive. The site has become such a popular urban legend of sorts that nearby Custer State Park uses it as a marketing ploy.
My first instinct, when I found out this coveted site had been ravaged, was all-out rage. Fortunately, the foolish individuals quickly came forward and returned the items and Custer State Park quickly began repairing the damage. Due to this quick recovery, my fervor has ceded a bit. (One has to wonder, though, with the power of social media these days, and the fact that these two were stupid enough to get their pictures and names all over Facebook, not to mention the local news, if Karma saw to it that they garnered less positive attention than they originally bargained for?) I really hope their idea was just ill-advised and that they weren’t actually trying to be unfeeling and hurtful to others–even if that was the end result. It was encouraging to see the reaction of the local community in their desire to fix the error as quickly as possible to preserve this awesome site. Hopefully, due to this, Poet’s Table will remain a hidden gem and refuge for those who seek it out for many more generations to come.
After learning what had occurred, Mr. Trekker and I felt very fortunate that we had sought out Poet’s Table, when we did, last summer (you can read about that here). For me, this was a real-world situation where the sage advice of not putting off till tomorrow what you could be doing today, applies. We’ve all heard the admonition that we could die at any moment so live each day like it’s your last (which is true, albeit depressing). 😋 But, this also fits in with the broader picture of being present in the current moment and living life to the fullest. Obviously, we all have responsibilities that we need to take care of. We can’t play all the time, we have to work so that we can afford to play. 😁 But, let’s try not to make life too busy. Let’s make the most of the free time available to us to spend time with family/friends, enjoy our hobbies, volunteer, learn a new skill, whatever. If we fill every waking moment with things we think we “should” be doing, we miss out on all the joys we COULD be enjoying. As a former therapist once said, “don’t SHOULD all over yourself!”
This was also a partial motivation for our visit to Glacier National Park a few years ago, to see it before the glaciers were all gone. You can view that post here.
There’s been a few instances in life where I regret not taking a day off of work to enjoy what may have been an opportunity that doesn’t come around often; or taking an extra few hours on a road trip to drive out of the way a bit to see an awesome site. These are the moments that make life worth living. While they vary from person to person they exist for everyone in some form, and we should learn to take advantage of them! These are what make life rich! It doesn’t have to be something big. It could just be stopping on the commute home to enjoy a beautiful sunset, even if that means you don’t get the bathroom cleaned tonight. 😇 We need to embrace the little joys in every day, that’s what living is all about!
And some of us need to learn a lesson they should have been taught in Kindergarten…to keep their hands off of that which does not belong to them. 😜