I know what you're thinking. Having read the title of this column, your mind has turned to thoughts of physical pleasure. The joy of sex, perhaps, or eating a delicious meal, or buying something you've been craving for months and months.
"This is the year," said my wife. "This is the year we finally get the house cleaned up. We've been putting it off for way too long."
"I agree. We just have to harden our hearts and learn to let go of things.
Every so often a new idea pokes its way up into the general consciousness, like a sprout of greenery pushing its way through a crack in the sidewalk.
It's safe to predict that most new ideas immediately meet with resistance.
We've all heard the suggestion about keeping things local, "things" meaning your shopping, your place of worship, the school your kids or grandkids attend, and so on.
The idea, at least on the surface, seems to make sense.
Those of us who have spent our lives here in the Midwest can't help but harbor a special love for monarch butterflies. Of all the beautiful marvels of nature that grace our part of the world, monarchs have earned a place of deserved honor.
Last week's unseasonable snowstorm in the Black Hills of South Dakota, with its attendant images of frozen cattle and buried automobiles, underscored the insights of a fascinating book by Dan O'Brien titled "Buffalo For the Broken Heart.