A question that often comes up in my discussion groups is some variation on the question, “What is the good life? How do we attain the good life?” Here in Bend, Oregon, the good life is spoken of most often in terms of how much time one gets to spend out in Nature. We do live in a wonderful place for getting out into nature, because we are within that transition between high mountains with fresh rivers flowing from them, forming many beautiful situations. Our river is known as the Deschutes, which is an old French word for our area meaning the rapids. We are in an area that is transitioning from high mountains to near sea level in a hundred miles, so there are a lot of rapids and fast flowing water.

To the West within twenty miles one can be high in the mountains, and twenty miles to the East one is out in the wide open high desert. You go from spruce trees, to Ponderosas, to various species of Juniper and off to high desert of scrub and wild horses. Everything has its own beauty and its ideal season. Personally, I haven’t participated much in these things because opening the door to my own back yard or front yard is wilderness enough, especially so because I take a couple of walks everyday. Why drive out into the wilderness, when I have a mature old Ponderosa pine three steps from where I sit, and a big spruce ten steps the other way, and a mountain ash, and several other trees of various species within fifty steps, and two horses that come over to me for a handout whenever I leave the front door?

The good life is right here when looked at that way, so why go wandering all over the world, like some of my friends do?