/ahr-key-dee-uh n/


1: rural, rustic, or pastoral, especially suggesting simple, innocent contentment.

“Foolishness? No, it’s not.

Sometimes I spend all day trying to count the leaves on a single tree. To do this I have to climb branch by branch and write down the numbers in a little book. So I suppose, from their point of view, it’s reasonable that my friends say: what foolishness! She’s got her head in the clouds again.

But it’s not. Of course I have to give up, but by then I’m half crazy with the wonder of it — the abundance of the leaves, the quietness of the branches, the hopelessness of my effort. And I am in that delicious and important place, roaring with laughter, full of earth-praise.”

-Mary Oliver

Oh to be in that “delicious and important place”…laughter, wonder, innocent contentment–an Arcadian afternoon.

When I feel the lack of this rural contentment deep down in my chest, my heartbeat feels like it is in my throat. This is when I have to get out in the wilderness with the company of only my big polar bear. I drive until no houses are in sight and that doesn’t take long here in Central Idaho. I park wherever the leaves are the brightest, or the lupines are the most fragrant, or the snow is the fluffiest. I get Pal out of the car, his tail usually wagging like it’s the very best day of his life. We breathe deep, deep cool breaths. I say, “There. That’s better, isn’t it, Pally?”

He wags his tail and sniffs the trees while I pick up leaves or flowers or snowballs. Silence. Wonder. Beauty. I come back to town refreshed, my pockets full of leaves that I’ll find in a couple days all dried and crumbled.

The Arcadian life is the life for this small gal and her big Pal.


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