I know I have said this many times before, but sometimes it is the simplest things in life that bring the greatest sense of peace and satisfaction. It is not always the roughest road, the epic journey or the grandest of discoveries that ignite and excite your sense of adventure. Sometimes it is just a simple exploration, a humble revelation or a smooth and easy trail that lead you a place of contentment and gratitude.
There are those moments in life when we find ourselves simply depleted. With diminished brainpower, devoid of energy, deficient in sleep and lacking inspiration, we feel spent, trampled and lifeless. In those moments I wish I could just step away, fence myself in and post one of those boundary signs: Protected wilderness area. Keep out. Stay back. Restoration in progress. Unfortunately for most of us, life refuses to stop, or even slow down, for those desperately depleted moments. So, we have to find a way, in the midst of the day-to-day, to breathe life back into the soul by creating our own personal restoration project.
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.
I always love a good mystery. Whether presented in cinematic or written form, I do so enjoy the experience of being drawn into a good plot. Theorizing, hypothesizing, predicting the outcome as you go along. I love the mystery in the unexpected and small surprises, the feeling of anticipation that comes with a little bit of unknown looming on your horizon. I enjoy the satisfaction of that single moment when the outcome is revealed. These things delight me. But it is the mystery in nature that truly astounds me.
At year’s end many of us are granted that blessed little break from the regular routines of daily life, an opportunity to reflect on the adventures of the past year and prepare for that to come. We celebrate our various holidays as the winter solstice ushers in another cycle of seasons. Ideally, this Winter Break should be a time for slowing down, pausing, taking time to connect with ourselves and our loved ones. Somehow, I lost a grip on that ideal and the hustle-bustle energy managed to take hold. The past few weeks have flown by and I suddenly find myself searching for my break. I start to worry that I may have missed it, having been swept up in this strong current of commotion. But then I come to this space, where it has been so quiet for all these weeks, and it is here I find solace in my sacred Winter Break.
It has been a quiet, relaxing week around here. With some time away from work and close to home, I fully intended to hit the household to do list and get some of those ridiculously prolonged projects completed. But there was this cloud of gratitude in the air, coloring our sunsets in such a way that chores and projects fell by the wayside and we spent the week watching the sky, taking photos and simply enjoying our moments.