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What is your first thought when you hear the words, “What a day for a daydream”? Where does your mind drift when you hear the first “C” chord of this delightful tune?
My mind goes back to the spring of 1966: I am a sophomore in college and I am overwhelmed with papers, midterms, working schedules and my thoughts of a certain “boy.” I just want to run away and “smother my face in somebody’s new mowed lawn.”
I am no longer a student and don’t have to worry about midterms, but I can still be overwhelmed by life. A couple of weeks ago, I replaced my 1966 memory of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s classic “What a Day for a Daydream” with a 2013 version.
My friend Brian was going hiking with two of his buddies to Three Sisters Falls in the backcountry of San Diego County. He asked if I wanted to tag along. These are real hikers; they have all summited Mt. Whitney here in California (the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet).
San Diego’s backcountry welcomed us that day with sunshine and cool breezes. Three Sisters is an easy two-mile hike down into a canyon where the trail abruptly nosedives toward the falls. Brian didn’t want to go that far down, so when the other two hikers in our group plunged down the hillside, he and I chose to sit at the edge of the trail listening to the sounds of the falls and the birds singing.
Eventually Brian and I started back up the canyon trail. Our pre-arranged meeting place with the other hikers was a grassy knoll at the beginning of the trail called Three Oaks. We had to wait almost 45 minutes. When have I had 45 minutes to do nothing? I couldn’t remember.
I wandered around and tried some macro photography, which was quite challenging in the wind. I ate my lunch
and then . . . I laid in the grass and did nothing. I stared up into the sky through the oak trees and watched the clouds float by. I found faces and figures in the clouds and breathed in the smell of the wildness; the grass, the trees, the sage. I daydreamed.
No to-do list. No projects. No phone calls. No e-mail. Just waiting and sweet daydreaming. What a day for a daydream!
Now, two weeks later, I still feel a sense of serenity remembering that day, that moment of lying in the grass on a mountaintop in the backcountry.
When was the last time you were able to daydream? When did you last lay in the grass and stare at the clouds through the leaves of an oak tree, or smother your face in somebody’s new mowed lawn? Do you have a 2013 version of “What a Day for a Daydream”?