My vacation was exhausting. I don’t think we go on vacations to rest, we do it to get away from our routine. that’s why it’s so tiring, New things make us tired.
Human beings are adaptable, but it’s not easy. After a week or so your body just wants to go home and sleep in your own bed.
My vacation was not one of those eye opening soul discovery ones. I was surrounded by various members of my family almost he entire time, jammed into a small car not meant to carry so much stuff, and on the road for 2 hours on a short day and 5-8 hours on a regular day.
But it did surprise me how, when I finally had a few hours to myself, and I settled down, I felt much clearer about what I needed to do.
In my life there’s so much noise, but what getting away from it made me realize that noise isn’t something that you ecape by switching location.
I went from a Suburban area in a west coast state to the empty wilderness of Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. Hiking over mountains, driving through Yellowstone, and staying in towns of less than 2,000 people, which is unheard of where I live. As someone aware of how hard it can be to support a small business when you advertise to thousands of people, I wonder how motels in these tiny towns stay afloat, I guess the cost of living is less. Plus people might work a few different jobs.
Anyway, I always thought of myself as someone who liked quieter areas, but I realized I don’t. I like nature, but I feel out of place in rural country. It reminds me of one of the essays I read for English class “The Trouble with Wilderness.” The real wilderness left in this country is between the cities, it’s not even really our national parks. It’s the places no one goes to except wild horses. It’s the undergrowth that keeps animals out of sight form the road.
The truth is, wilderness is only something you find off the beaten (or paved) path. My sister and I got close to it driving a quad over a desert area. But even so, that’s not quite it. And I got to visit some dinosaur tracks, which I’m a big fan of, there were some paw prints there too, probably from a more recent animal. Still, that’s not really wilderness.
Wilderness is something you find when it’s just you alone with God and with nature.
Civilization is really just what you call it when two people meet and settle down. Why else does marriage represent civilization not just in the Bible, but in many religions and stories?
I don’t think it’s impossible for a couple to experience wilderness together, but when it comes to being in it even when you’re not out in nature, you need to be alone.
Capturing that feeling of wildness is something we can only do when we’re either by ourselves, or with someone else who has felt it and understands it.
The feeling you get when you’re out in the wind, or when you gaze at a sunset, or look at the mountains. When you feel really alone, but not lonely. That’s being wild. Because in those moments you dare to dream anything and you believe in anything.
It’s no surprise really that folks who live surrounded by nature used to come up with stories about fairies and elves and sprites, something about it makes you believe in what you can’t see.
After all Romans does say that the invisible attributes of God are plain to us because of nature.
The real reason science isn’t enough to produce faith isn’t that science disproves God, but that sciences deals with what our eyes see, while faith deals with the unseen world, because that’s where the spiritual, the most important part of life, takes place.
I realized that finding peace and quiet in my life isn’t something I can do by eliminating city noises till all I hear are crickets and grasshoppers. (Some of them in Wyoming make this weird popping sound that you wouldn’t think a bug that size could so without snapping itself in half.) It’s something I have to be willing to seek out.
Peace is about letting stuff go and focusing on God, or even just on another person in your life. Without the TV and the radio in the background.
And being willing to be by yourself for awhile. I actually had gotten out of practice, but when I chose to keep being alone, I felt it cleared my head.
So my exhortation to all of you is to take some time today and find that.
Until next time–Natasha.