Thursday, April 11, 2013

Passion on the Prairie

                                                       Oklahoma Prairie

Passion on the sounds like a bad romance novel.

The passion to which I am referring is my own. This isn't a tawdry passion, but just a passion for life in general. The last few days I have been thinking about how different I seem to be from most people in these parts...the "prairie" of northwestern Oklahoma. In a "meat and potatoes, God-fearing" land, I seem to be, yet again, a misfit.

I'm not sure where this passion for life and all its delicious experiences came from. My father is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of man. He is perfectly content to sit at his dining room table, smoking his cigarettes, and watching The Weather Channel. He has people who stop by to "shoot the shit" as they say. They all seem to have a good time, laughing and drinking, telling stories. Although the stories told at that table are entertaining, they are told so many times that they are forever ingrained in my memory.  I think the only thing my dad is passionate about are his Clipper cigar/cigarettes that he smokes every moment he is awake.

My mother doesn't strike me as having a passion other than a recent passion for Christ. She enjoys many things, but I don't see her as a passionate person.

Then there is me. I find that I can be passionate about just about anything. Last night as I was leaving my dad's house, I walked outside and saw an inky sky littered with diamonds.  It took my breath away. I mentioned it to the people still inside and it did nothing for them. They had no desire to walk outside and experience the magnitude of beauty that the sky above held for me. When you see something that beautiful, you want to share it with someone. But there were no takers.

I can find passion in simple things. When the sun is setting, it bathes the landscape in a magnificent blanket of light. There is a perfection to the scene that you want to capture forever. A peacefulness that you want to remain with you always.

A perfect glass of wine can stir the passion in me. When you take that first sip, allowing it to glide over your tongue, giving it a moment to tantalize your taste is heaven. If you take the time to recognize all of the subtle flavors you will find in just one taste, you will find yourself delighted with the sensations you can experience. You can detect berries, pepper, smoke...just by taking the time to indulge in a moment of time to experience something amazing.

Knowledge is another passion of mine. I can't imagine a world in which I couldn't read, research, ask questions, and learn more. There is so much in this world that I want to know, to understand.  Cultures and rituals so very different from my own. Landscapes never imagined. It is all out there, waiting.

But so many people care so little about anything different from that which they know that they are missing out on the best part of living. They miss out on the connections made between themselves and new people who might think differently than they do. If it wasn't for open-minded people and forward thinking individuals, we wouldn't have the freedoms we do today. If it wasn't for people passionate about a new way of living, who knows where we would be right now.

I understand that some people really enjoy their comfort zones and have no desire and no intention of ever leaving. For me, it would be a prison sentence. There is so much to experience and enjoy in this world, so many senses to be delighted, why wouldn't someone want to embrace that fully? But some people simply don't. They refuse to try anything new. They won't entertain a new idea, or a different opinion. They mock people who try to expand their minds and thinking with books.

People may think I am weird for finding incredible joy in the simple things. They may laugh at me when I am brought to tears by the words in a book. All it does is sadden me that they aren't able to experience what I do. It breaks my heart that their human experience will be so limited when there is so much out there to be passionate about. The human experience is a fleeting one, not to be taken for granted. It is to be treasured and savored, and hopefully shared. That, to me, is the greatest passion...sharing something so beautiful or flavorful with someone else and seeing them experience the same joy as you.

Your time on this earth is limited...enjoy all the beauty in the world. Indulge your senses. They crave it. They want to be used to their full capacity so that you may fully experience this amazing world in which we live.

Slow down today and find something to savor. Find something to be passionate about. It's worth it...I promise.


turquoisemoon said...

I never got it either??? and have wondered about it...with no answers. People have never understood me,my passion. I've never understood their lack of it. I understand what you're saying...

Kelli Thomas said...

It's sad, isn't it? There is so much to experience in life and so many people miss out.

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