A drive on the winding country roads in the foothills of Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains always offers twists and turns of seemingly never-ending variety. The narrow woods-lined roads offer changing views of cattle-laden fields dotted with huge round bales of hay, broad streaming rivers, and lakes that beckon all passers to seek relief in their warm soothing waters. Yet, there was a twist I wasn’t expecting on one late August summer day. A telephone call from an Arizona area code.
I recognized the number immediately. It was my friend Phil Grimm.
“Hey Lynn.” Phil said as soon as I touched the handsfree answer button on my car. “I was just calling to spend some time talking with you. We don’t take the time to just talk enough.”
The nose of my car headed down another slope toward a dancing brook and, of course, the cellular signal on my phone followed it right on down to zero bars. My phone dropped the call.
“I’m sorry.” I said to Phil as soon as he answered my return call. “I’m in Arkansas and drove down into a hollow.”
“I completely understand.” Phil responded. “I’m on my way back home from Beaver Lake right now. We’ve been searching for a new lake house so we can spend more time with our family.”
Three days later Phil and I had lunch together where we huddled in a corner so we could do some additional exploring. That’s when I learned more about what I call “The Three Legs of FulPhillment” as taught to me by Phil himself.
First: Follow your own path. “I was caught up in chasing what society was telling me I should do to find happiness,” Phil said, with a tortilla chip in his hand. “What I discovered over years of living that way was that I’d become a person I no longer recognized. I wasn’t being true to who I really am, what I felt inside, what I could offer to the world and what makes me happy.” He explained that as a result of this realization he systematically began a step-by-step process to correct his own path. He took the time to discover what was important to him, then he moved forward to simplify his life.
Second: Simplify through selection. “While self-examining, I discovered I was involved in too many good things,” Phil explained. “It’s taken some time, but I’m clear about what I want to focus on now. Now I’m letting everything else fall by the wayside. I’ve learned to say no, while gathering the important.”
Third: Gather. “I’m looking for a place where I can gather my loved ones. I want it to be a place where they want to come. A place where we can all find refuge with each other. We’re going to create a place of belonging, fun and healing. My focus is on creating a place where my loved ones will want to join together for support and joy.” He continued painting a verbally vivid picture as he spent the rest of our extra-long lunch talking through every detail of his new self-reclamation adventure.
When we walked out of the restaurant to go our separate ways, I felt a new sense of purpose. Our conversation had been just like driving on the winding, country roads in the foothills of Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains. It offered twists and turns of seemingly never-ending variety. The narrow, hopes-and-dreams-lined conversational roads offered changing views of how to find one’s own genuine path, dotted with huge round-hope-woven bales of how to simplify by selection, broad streaming rivers and lakes that beckon all loved ones to seek relief in their warm soothing waters of gathering for refuge, a sense of belonging, fun and healing.
Yet, there was one twist I wasn’t expecting on combined late August and early September summer days. Being thoroughly inspired by the Three Legs of FulPhillment.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.