I took a walk with my father this morning.
As we headed out, he noted that the sun was relatively high in the sky and rising slightly further to the north.
Dad walks the same route at the same time every day so he notices the sun’s position as the year progresses.
It reminded me of a memory from my childhood. I went to visit dad at work and discovered the wall of his office covered with small bits of masking tape that traced an arc across the room.
Each morning at 8 a.m. he would mark the place where the sunlight struck the wall. As the year went on, the tape extended across the room and then swung back.
“What did you do when the year was over?” I asked.
“I took the tape down and started over again.”
I asked dad what his colleagues thought.
“They thought I was a bit cuckoo,” he said.
Putting tape on the wall would not have flown where I used to work (no one even had an office), but I think it’s an excellent idea.
It connects you to your environment and signals the day has begun.
Of course, a young person doing that today would likely Instagram the progress, accruing thousands of followers with a hashtag #ArcoftheSun.
At the end of the year they would self-publish a book called 15 Life Lessons I Learned Following the Sun at Work.
My father worked in an era refreshingly devoid of the modern requirement that every action be promoted and every effort monetized.
One of the 15 Life Lessons I took away from the walk was that you can follow the sun for no other reason than because you are curious.
Another lesson was that people — even those closest to you — do all kinds of fascinating things you don’t know.
Ask your parents what they do every day.
You may be surprised.
(Part of a series based on conversations with my parents about how to manage life.)