A few weeks ago, I posted a little bit about a recent adventure my hubby and I had along the seashore at the southern end of the Oregon coast. For us, it was something different, to be sure. For many years, we have been very enamored and slightly obsessed with our Sierra Nevada mountains and the Death Valley desert that border the small, isolated town that we call home. This has not changed, of course, but taking this time and this opportunity to experience something new has stirred up a little something that’s got us yearning for the seashore.
For ten years now, I have spent my days with little folks, talking about life, the world, what things do and how they work. Together, we have the pleasure of indulging our mutual sense of wonder. I have come to understand that children have an innate love of nature and if that love is nurtured, it will naturally bloom into a love of self and love for others. I watch it happen time and time again, year after year, cycle after cycle. It never ceases to amaze me. So, how can we as parents, teachers and role models, tap into this sense of wonder and instill healthy habits within our children? They are, after all, our hope for the future…are they not? It is a mighty responsibility, an overwhelming task, so my advice is to simply start small. Invite them. Excite them. Delight them in the process. And those healthy habits will naturally become part of who they are.
About this time of year I usually find myself moaning about the unbearable desert heat, groaning about this ever-lasting summer season and wishing away my precious time. This year however, my husband and I decided to make an unlikely escape, taking a break from our typical summer Sierra adventures. We wanted to try something new, so we traded in the alpine lake with that picture-perfect campsite for a luxurious beach house with a never-ending ocean view.
My hubby and I are on vacation right now. It is an adventure, to be sure, but an adventure of a slightly different sort for us. An actual vacation. As in, a full week of rest and relaxation, meandering and wandering along the southern Oregon coast.
Yes, I know. The summer solstice has come and gone…old news, weeks ago, long since moved on. That’s the way it is with me…a little late, after the fact, better late than never. It has taken several years for me to come to terms with that, to accept it and embrace it, but I am at peace now with my belated and not-so-punctual ways. And now that Summer is in full-fiery-force, I am revisiting a few precious moments of celebration as we welcomed this new season with two of my favorite things: a sunset and a starry sky. From a tent, by a lake, with a waterfall, no less.
It is that time of year again. Temperatures have reached the triple digits, desert adventures have gone into hibernation mode, the cooler runs non-stop as weekdays take on that lethargic summer pace. But when the weekend comes, we head for the hills seeking the shade of those swaying pines, the cool relief of glacial waters and that rejuvenating alpine air. And so it begins. Our mountain season and backcountry camping.
Somewhere between finding my balance and tyring to take it all in stride, I managed to neglect sharing one of the most beautiful, calming and peaceful time-outs I have experienced as of late. Sitting on a desert dune in the golden glow of the setting sun, bare toes buried in the cool singing sands, I literally sat and watched Time slip through my hands as tiny grains of sand fell between my fingertips. Time is precious and I do so hate to waste it. But surely there is nothing wasted in those moments of quiet awe, holding a world of wonder in the palm of your hand.
It’s been quiet around here, I know. This space of mine has been sadly neglected the past few months. This time of year is always very busy in my working world and as the spring season quickly gives way to summer, everything is either put on hold or tossed aside in order to meet those end of the school year deadlines. During this busy season of mine, I always feel like I am just managing to keep my head above water. It is certainly not a time for acquiring new tasks, setting new goals or accepting new challenges. But this year, in a moment of inspired whimsy, I found myself taking on an unexpected challenge which actually did wonders in helping me maintain some semblance of balance.
I have a favorite book. We all do, I’m sure. Mine is called The Little Prince by Antione De Saint Exupery, you probably know it. I never tire of the wisdom contained in that one little story. You know, the kinds of insights we grown-ups collect from those precious little people in our lives.
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
…that kind of stuff. The kind of stuff that gives you cause to pause and consider the little things in life, that really, when you think about it, are not that small after all.
I often talk about the cycle of seasons and what I love about them. How I love those points of transition as one season slowly fades into another which then begins to bloom into the next. I love to watch for those telltale signs that Mother Nature is preparing for change. In these parts, you really have to be attentive in order to see the signs as spring and fall hardly exist at all. But as the sun begins to shift, the long shadows fall later, wildflowers begin to bloom on the desert floor and the spring winds begin to blow, I know the mountain season is approaching.