John Patrick Weiss on how a children’s film inspired him to make time for loved ones.
Years ago Buzz Lightyear inspired me to seek infinity… and beyond.
My little boy and I watched the delightful Pixar animation “Toy Story” often, but discovered new details each time we revisited it. One afternoon after laughing through the various antics in Toy Story, I decided we needed an adventure of our own. It had been a long work week and I was a bit tired out, yet I wanted to do something fun with my son.
We are blessed to live amidst the towering redwoods of Northern California. I got the idea that my son and I should take a hike and explore the great outdoors. The sky was blue and the weather was clear and bright. After a quick lunch we headed out.
We drove into the state park and found suitable parking. Shoelaces tied and with a spring in our step we headed out. A friend who was visiting us from Oregon came along. He happened to be a survivalist and well schooled in the outdoors. As we trudged deeper into the forrest he pointed out different animal tracks and plants of interest. My son took it all in with great interest despite his young age. We snacked along the way from our travel packs, downed some water and wandered into a bit of a clearing.
There in front of us was the huge stump of an old redwood. I glanced at my son and said “Come on.” I hoisted him up and together we stood atop the flattened platform of the grand old tree. I struck a dramatic pose and announced loudly, ” To infinity…and beyond” in my best Buzz Lightyear voice. My son followed suit with an outstretched arm and war cry of his own. It was one of those special moments when you feel great and simply enjoy the magic of life.
Obligations, responsibilities and worries are always nipping at our heels. Sometimes it might even feel like the wolf is at our door. No one can predict when calamity may strike in our lives. But there are moments of sheer happiness and delight. Times when everything is right and the stars align perfectly. The trick is to conjure the conditions and opportunities that allow for such moments. That day so many years ago I could have easily poured a glass of wine, settled on to the couch and been consumed by some empty television program. Thankfully, I didn’t. I found the energy to rally my little boy, invite my friend and traipse off into the redwoods.
To this day when I view the photograph of that moment on the redwood stump, I feel the fleeting energy and excitement of our adventure. It’s as if my son and I are frozen in time, immersed in one another’s company and the splendor of the day. If I can leave you with anything it is this: make the time for loved ones. Fight for such moments. The television shows, Facebook and financial worries will be there when you get back. Happiness is transitory. It comes and goes. But if you’re smart and take advantage of those open windows of time you just might find yourself traveling. Traveling to infinity… and beyond.
This article originally appeared on John Patrick Weiss on Blog Spot.