Yesterday we jumped in the car just as the sun was setting to escape for a bit. To check out of the daily grind and check in with nature. A healthy rhythm we often forget to insert into the work week - but one that can make a world of difference in our day to day lives.
For me, escaping into nature has always been vital. Every Friday during my college years, I would impatiently watch the minutes tick by as I sat through my last few classes of the week. My Jeep Cherokee, waiting for me, already packed. I had to go somewhere, get out of the city. If I didn't have plans to head somewhere - I knew I would feel trapped. There is a sense of freedom to escaping the norm that I have always been addicted to - almost to a flaw.
The second I graduated college, I piled in a car with three of my best friends; together, we drove until we couldn't drive anymore. All the way to the Northern most point of Maine. A few months later, Joel and I were married. Only days after our wedding, we were loading our lives into a 27' sailboat headed South.
I guess you can say staying put is hard for me, it has always been.
So, when our car broke down, canceling our most recent cross country plans, needless to say - I was crushed. Not only were we staying put, but we were staying put in the last place I wanted to be - the town where I grew up. Let me first say, I do not hate the place I grew up, it holds all my best memories, my greatest friends, my family, and its shores are where I learned to surf. But, there are a million other places in the world I've yet to see and my hometown holds none of them.
Staying put these past few months has been a rough transition but, out of it, I have learned something that I will hold with me for the rest of my life. That is - how to put new laces on an old pair of shoes.
There is this old pair of winter boots that I love. They are Patagonia, built to last ( Yes! I do believe that there are some names that represent quality - that's another story for another day) The soles look as new as the day I bought them, the boot itself has a few hints of wear, but the laces were absolutely falling apart. The peeling and frayed laces made the boots look horrible. Patagonia no longer manufactured them and so, I disgruntledly began the search for a new pair of winter boots.
A few weeks later, when I had still yet to bite the bullet on a new pair, Joel and I snagged some brown laces from the store. They weren't the right laces, but they were close to the right color - it was worth a shot. I cut off the raggedy pair and threaded the new laces into my old boots. Bingo. They looked good and would at least last me another winter.
In the same way, I have been learning to put new laces on the raggedy perspective I have of my old town. It doesn't always have to be something new to be something good. As important as it is to always be seeking new experiences and as much as the unknown is a place of growth ; it is equally important to love and find joy in that which is already in front of you.
I would kill to be climbing a new mountain trail today, but chasing the sunset over the oceanfront where I grew up will do the trick. My time back home has been teaching me how important it is to learn to sing, like a canary in a cage. That though you might be naturally a flyer, you can also be joyful when staying put. You can make something out of where you are. It doesn't help just to sit in silence or fight the cage - rather, sing until it is opened. The adventure doesn't aways have to be in the going but in the doing. Get outside where you are and with the time that you have.
For me, until our next big adventure, I'll be running and biking the trails around me, watching a few sunsets and, every now and then, suiting up to surf Virginia's little winter peelers.
Cheers & Much love