One of the lag measures of a successful trip is the number of times I have to pause and remember, wait, we did that on this trip too? When my brain has become jumbled with so many new memories I know we did it right. There’s also often a direct correlation to the number of miles put on by foot each day – this one was also a success.
There was something a little different on this one than in past vacations. Wait, maybe that’s not quite right. Maybe it is more of something I remembered again which fades slowly to the sands of time. There was a different level of peace, of feeling at home, and hearing more of a calling to the outdoors.
On our short afternoon hike yesterday Becky and I spent some time in a little cedar wood along the beach of Lake Superior. The sound of the waves continually crashing against the icy shore in a perfectly imperfect rhythm was such a peaceful soundtrack to our walk. At one point I caught a deer observing us from a short distance away in the wood. Shortly thereafter Becky pointed out another three enjoying their time in the woods as well. Later there was yet another deer. Becky pointed and I thought I’d attempt to get a quick pic even though I was positive I would miss it. It wasn’t until later in the evening when I reviewed the pics form the day I chuckled at my fortune! Check this one out and look in the distance to where she is pointing 🙂
The sight of each of the deer had an interesting emotional impact on me. I laughed, I smiled, I looked in awe… I felt a sense of wonder.
I grew up in northern Wisconsin. I’ve seen literally thousands and thousands of deer in my life. Why should I be so excited at seeing some more of these brown furry creatures which are all over?
As I slowly start to unpack so many previous thoughts and ideas it seems as if several of them are beginning to merge into a more complete whole. Just as a little stream slowly connects to another little stream to become a river and then joins another river to become a giant sea, my thoughts are starting to coalesce into a greater thought.
Here are where some of my thoughts are going:
- The more I appreciate what I have rather than wanting what I don’t have the more joyful I am.
- When I intentionally act towards my goals rather than reflexively doing something unproductive or counterproductive, I feel a stronger sense of purpose.
- The less “stuff,” the more simple the way I live life the more often I am in the present versus being distracted.
- The more intentional I act, the more I am able to spend time in a state of flow doing the things I love so much – like being out in the woods.
- When I am out in the woods I feel a deep sense of peace and presence.
- The times when I am most at peace, most in the present, and the most joyful I am overcome with a sense of wonder of all that is around me.
- When I am lost in a state of wonder my default mindset is gratitude for all that is around and the opportunity to experience it.
- The more I feel a sense of wonder the more connected I feel to The Big Dude Upstairs (my way of “seeing” God or a higher power, call that higher power what you will)
- The more connected I am to The Big Dude Upstairs the more I can live into the purpose of who I am called to be, the more I can intentionally live into that self.
Hmm… Okay, there is still a lot to work out and sort through there, but I am starting to see it. More time, more thought, and more action needed to rough this one out. Probably a few more blogs in the future as well.