The reluctant enthusiast, the part-time crusader, the half-hearted fanatic

Like many of my peers, I’ve spent most of November feeling disheartened and maybe a little panicked. I’ve been trying to make time for self-care in order to stay (relatively) sane, but each time I lace up my running shoes or pack a backpack, I feel a little guilty, like my time would be better spent on activism than on the entirely self-serving pursuit of personal fitness. 

Guess what? There’s an Abbeyism for that:

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

Thanks, Ed. With that in mind, we had Thanksgiving dinner last week with my family, then hit the road (along with my grandpa, in a roundabout way—we drove his old silver Forester) for Abbey Country. I think these pictures can speak to the catharsis of that experience better than words can, so I’ll let them do the talking.

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