Stupid Fun

By , March 27, 2011

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you may be justified in forming the opinion that we take life pretty seriously around here. Most of the posts seem to be about the work of the homestead, or maintaining its finances, or Aly’s studies. I’m proud to say that, while we do apply ourselves to all these things, we also understand and practice the art of having stupid fun.

Recently, we sat on the rocky cliff of our beach, dangling our feet over the edge. Our harsh weather has softened lately, warming up to the mid 40s with light winds and sunshine. We enjoyed the warmth of the sun on the rocks around us. The water, far below us at that tide, seemed crystal clear. We could easily see bottom, and enjoyed the play of sunlight on it as ripples in the water warped and rumpled it. Aly remarked that she really wanted to throw rocks. Michelle got up to return to the garden boxes she had been building, but before leaving the beach, she returned with a double handful of rocks. Aly offered to share them with me. Never one to pass up the chance, I accepted, and we happily splashed away for a while.

When the rocks had been used up, we contemplated the water for a moment. Then Aly said, “I wonder if we could pry up the lumps of spray ice over there?” I could think of only one way to find out . . . .

Soon we were working together to lift big slabs of ice, some over 6 inches thick, and heaving them into the water. They created huge splashes. If they didn’t shatter on impact, they plunged beneath the surface, then bobbed back up in a hugely satisfying manner. Occasionally we’d stop to rest, examining the odd little bits of things embedded in the ice—tiny mussel shells, a barnacle or two, algae—and tasting the ice to see if it was salty or not (it’s not). Then we’d be back at it again, hurling ice chunks into the water and watching them float away. At one point a sea lion popped its head out of the water like a disturbed neighbor, to see what we were doing.

We weren’t accomplishing anything. We weren’t improving our lot, or helping others, or earning our keep. We were just having stupid fun.

And you know, it felt pretty darn good.

You will find a version of the essay above, as well as writing on similar and related topics in Sacred Coffee: A “Homesteader’s” Paradigm by Mark A. Zeiger, available in print, eBook, and audiobook editions. The published version will likely be expanded, clarified, or updated from what you have just read.

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