We were supposed to be in Colorado last week…
I’m giving this season an acrostic; it’s SOLO: Summer of Lost Opportunities. Two years ago, we calendared a commitment to be in Colorado Springs last week – with the team of The Jesus Film – helping to recruit another wave of resource partners to help their worldwide effort to allow everyone to see Jesus. We had planned some extra days – before and after that briefing – to spend in the Rockies.
My batteries charge at 7000’+ elevation; I must be allergic to oxygen. Given a straight-up choice, an empty forest is my hands-down favorite over a crowded beach, any time of the year.
What day is it? Does it matter? In my cell, the temperature is a constant 72° (as it has been, since March, when this all started). Get out of bed before sun-up; dress for success (from the waist, up); fire-up the Keurig; check with the news that never changes (Bible); look in on the news that is changing constantly… then open Zoom for the first-of-many conversations that will be the only proof-of-life we can hope for during this epochal reset of global reality. If you can catch something deadly from webinars, I’m sure to be terminal from my terminal…
Today’s mail included this month’s Kiplinger’s magazine; the cover story lacks any unique quality, but compels the aging CV-19 hostages: “Great Places to Retire.” The competition among those list creators is intense, given the Baby Boomer surge into the “to heck with it; we’re outta-here!” demographic and the marketplace upheavals that have sent them home to work at the kitchen table.
Thriveafter50.com says the smart seniors are heading for Asheville, Colorado Springs, Tahoe, Napa, Palm Springs, St George, San Diego, Savannah, Taos… or, The Villages in Florida. With little left to binge-watch – and no place to go without facing the wrath of governors who operate like anti-tourism ambassadors – it’s tempting to compute reduced costs of living, relational proximity and quality of life issues like walkable downtowns and free university lectures. What’s holding you back?
For the oncoming generations – Millennials, or their younger siblings, the Gen Ys – the idea of waiting for arthritis to set in before checking out has become outdated. The movement to escape the system is mobilizing under the banner of FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early), and the outliers are claiming success in their 30s and 40s, willing to replace their morning Starbucks with something brewed from potato peels and renounce owning anything that they don’t use constantly. No telling whether their Top-10 list matches the Boomers’, but their drive to park is reaching warp-speed.
We thought about it; it didn’t take long to reach our conclusion: we might visit the Top-10 spots, but there’s no U-Haul in our future. We’re staying put; our next move is to Paradise.
A quick sidebar: name the largest living thing. In the 21st Century Google-this era, I won’t offer you a prize for the right answer, because – under the view of the camera on your laptop – your search engine will have the answer in a nanosecond. Ready? It’s Pando.
Not Panda; it’s Pando: an aspen grove in the Fishlake National Forest in Utah. Called the Trembling Giant, it’s a single root system – estimated to be over 80,000 years old – covering over 106 acres, with more than 47,000 trees growing above-ground, all of which are genetically identical. The entire organism – roots and trees – weighs nearly 6,000 tons. There’s nothing bigger, or older…
Why aren’t we moving? We’re connected to a vast, invisible but powerful root system of relationships of which we are above-ground, visible manifestations… but our vitality comes from that network. You don’t just “pull up roots” and expect to replicate that; it takes millennia to mature.
Jesus calls it his “body.” We call it our “network.” Call it what you will, you can’t take it with you, until you all leave, together. And… we’re working to make that day happen, sooner!