Once upon a time a forty-year-old man named Peter sat under a red maple tree in a secluded corner of his backyard and tried to figure out the meaning of life. He had a happy marriage: Check. He’d found a profession that was reasonably satisfying: Check. Two rather nice children: Check. Saved for their college education: Check. On track to retire in twenty years: Check. Health holding up fine: Check.
So, with his wife and kids out of town at the family reunion he’d preferred to skip, he was on his own this week and on vacation as well. No one was depending on him; no one was expecting him to show up. He had complete freedom for seven days.
He finished his morning coffee and set the mug down on the grass. He ate a cereal bar and stuck the wrapper into the pocket of his wind breaker. He sat. He licked his lips. He sniffed the early autumn air. Now what?