The Longer View

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Camping up a hill in Devon you can’t help but take the longer view. Hills that have been there forever. The toil – even in the modern mechanised era – in taming and working the land.

Life is defined by sunrise and sunset and the fullest of moons. It made me think. I spend too much time staring at small text-laden screens and far too little looking at the bigger picture.

There is good evidence that short-sightedness is exacerbated by the eye not getting frequent enough opportunity to resolve to the infinite horizon. My eyes hurt when we first arrived. I couldn’t comfortably view the tree line – it felt like a strain.

Put the iPhone away (nowhere to charge it) and in a day or two my eyes were comfortably drawn to the hills and distant pastures – retuned to their natural state.

There are perhaps four more summers before my little family starts to fragment. Maybe only four more times we’ll pitch and strike our tent, in that farm field with friends and their kids.

For all the packing and unpacking, fetching and carrying, cooking and scrubbing, it is hard to imagine that it won’t go on forever. The trees, the meadow of buttercups, the hills and streams. All green, verdant and full of life…

And in one day back in the big city forgotten and distant. After a week at work, a world away.

The longer view, the far horizon and the here and now. I work too hard, for enough money but too little thanks. I should change my focus or soon I will need a different plan.

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