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Nature Calling

Trading cool lake breezes on the dock in my favorite red Adirondack chair for Texas heat in my wicker chair on the house-length back porch of the old Rhoads Texas ranch house is a signal that summer for our family has ended. It was hard to leave the Adirondack lakes because I never want summer to end, yet it’s always nice to be in the cuddle of our home here in Austin. Plus, if I had summer all the time, I’d never appreciate it like I do.

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A Fresh Perspective on Failure

Dark, ominous storm clouds engulfed the lake last night, billowing high into the sky, blocking an intensely red sunset we could barely see on the horizon. Light shows go on each night, starting with mild color and developing into intense reds, pinks, yellows, with hints of blue peeking through.

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You Can Strive to Be the World’s Best

In the 1850s the Hudson River School painters painted in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York — and were accused of exaggerating the colors of the sunsets. Yet living here and experiencing the sunsets each night, I can testify that the colors are so brilliant, so vibrant, that no matter how brightly or brilliantly they may have been painted, they could not touch the colors in the sky.

496 Comments

You Need Summer Oxygen

I arrived on the mist-covered wooden dock this morning as the sun was coming up, just peeking over the horizon. Long warm rays are penetrating cool layers of fog. The mountain is barely visible, and the green highlights of tall pines are shining through the mist. Just as I sat down, I could hear the splashing of baby loon wings beating against the water. Accompanied by loon cries of encouragement from mom and dad, the little loons flap forward about 30 feet, trying to take off but not yet getting airborne. They’ve been trying over and over, and soon those babies will be ready to fly south.

472 Comments

The Last Sunday in July

On most mornings around here in the Adirondacks, if you get up early enough, there is a light fog on the lake that doesn’t lift until the sun makes its presence known. On a drizzly morning like today, the fog is thicker, which makes for beautiful photographs and paintings. After this, if there is time, I may attempt one or the other.

489 Comments

How to Set Your Brain on Fire

The droplets of water drizzle lightly on the tin roof of our cabin in the woods. A cozy knitted blanket is tucked tightly around my arms and legs, with just enough slack to leave my arms free to type.

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When Change Is Hard But Good

Walking out on the dock last night, it was pitch black. There was not so much as a ripple in the water; it was still as glass. I’ve never seen a darker sky anywhere, for here in the middle of the wilderness, we’re 25 miles from the nearest small town and hundreds of miles from light-polluted big cities. The sky was littered with stars. Not just a few, but thousands were visible, and I could see a depth to the night sky I’ve never before noticed. In the distance, just above the silhouette of the mountain, is a small bright blood-orange ball they call Mars.

566 Comments

Your True Purpose

This morning as I stepped on to the dark brown wooden dock, I jumped a bit from the heat on my bare feet and carefully tiptoed my way to my bright red Adirondack chair overlooking the lake. A warm blue color reflects the humidity in the air, like looking through layers of glass, making the distant mountain look even farther away.

32 Comments

The First Step to Changing the World

Today is different. Unlike so many Sunday mornings, when I awaken and visit the back porch or the dock with my steaming hot java, this morning my view is of a small room with gray walls decorated by black-and-white photographs. I’m sitting in a swivel chair, surrounded by a microwave, a phone, a television, and a little two-cup machine to make my coffee. My teen boys sleep deeply, one in one of the two double beds, one on the pull-out couch. The sound of my fingers on the keyboard does not seem to be enough to awaken them.

549 Comments

Your Unintended Influence on Others

If you listen closely, everything has a rhythm. This morning I hear the up-and-down rub of a boat tied to a dock, the lapping of the water, the high-pitched tweeting of distant birds, and the rumble of a float plane flying over, seeking a place to land … all to the same beat.

498 Comments

Perfect and Imperfect Fathers

The morning is still. Glass-like reflections of the yellow sky, the purple clouds, and the distant gray mountain are perfect, not so much as a ripple in the water. Crisp, fresh air, so pure there is no description, fills my lungs. Coffee on the dock at this Adirondack lake is among my favorite things.

467 Comments

A Bountiful Harvest

A deep breath fills my lungs with the smell of pine. As I sit on the dock in a bright red Adirondack chair, the water is perfectly still and reflecting the puffy pink clouds above, the distant purple mountain, and the rich greens.

170 Comments

Eric Rhoads
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