I Googled “Wild Canada”

I made the biggest … mistake? No…it’s not a mistake…I made the biggest discovery today. Not twenty minutes ago…

I googled Wild Canada.

Oh, sweet mother of shazbok…the eye candy is overwhelming!

canada502nature1

Just look at this! The mountains…the lakes and rivers…the mountains…the trees…THE MOUNTAINS!

canadanature2I’ve felt an overwhelming need to go somewhere lately – this past month especially. The need for mountains and water and trees and solitude. When I was a teenager, solitude was like an older sister. I’d sit in Solitude and listen and learn about life and learn about myself. Solitude was always there within reach, but for years now, I’d given her up. I’d put her on the back burner because I was busy with other very important things. I was raising up children! I don’t resent anyone or anything. Such is life! It’s not always peace and quiet or fun or exciting or adventurous. Everyone needs a solid foundation in this life and that means we need to be able to handle serious.

But…

…you reach a point in life where you need to do something. Something to remind you that you’re living and that the world doesn’t just stop while you’re focused on one aspect of life. Life is all around us and we each get so absorbed into our routines and comforts of home that we forget there is something amazing out there, and when we’re too old to do anything about it, we look out the window of “what ifs” and realize how frozen in our own minds and desires we were.

I’ve never been on a road trip alone.

Ever. Crazy, huh?

I’m almost 30 and I’m realizing how much of my life has been at a standstill. Everyone my age has been on a trip by themselves in an unknown state – or even country (geez, can you imagine??)- at least once. I lived in Arizona but never saw the Grand Canyon until I moved away at 18. Now, I’ve lived almost 11 years in North Carolina but have seen so little of it.

road-trip-3

I want to go somewhere and feel the open road in front of me. I want to look up and see nothing but nature around me in all directions. No civilization. No gas stations. What I do want is a paper map. No GPS, guys. I want to have to pull over on the side of the road and tilt a map to the sun and figure out my way.

Hold on…I think that’s it.

– I want to find my way –

by myself. I’ve been under a roof with meals at my fingertips and warmth at the touch of a button my entire life. I’ve never been out in the unknown – ever. The closest I was to that was when I was with my friend, Adela, on a camping trip. Our group when to a nearby lake and Adela and I wandered off on our own – just walking, talking, and exploring. We were maybe fourteen years old when we got stuck on a cliffside for a long time. It grew dark and we were still in the middle of a forest by ourselves. We had to figure our own way off the cliff and back to our group – which we did because, hey, we were smart girls.

Oh man…I remember the sense of wandering with no goal in mind and a vague idea of what direction we came from. We eventually made it to the opposite side of the lake – but not without first finding a perfect, circular, sunny meadow with flowers that we literally pranced through just so we can say, “I’ve pranced through a sunny meadow in the mountains.” I’m not kidding you when I say I’m a nature nerd.

Nature has brought me to my knees in speechless wonderment.

But, sadly, it’s been mostly through documentaries and Google images. I always told my family that if I never make it to Yellowstone in my lifetime, to make sure someone takes my kids there and have them think of me and the simple things in life that I love.

I appreciate the outdoors. I respect this planet as the extraordinary living thing that it is. I see mountains as an act of God. Things He formed with his fingertips. Water, the physical form of His love and healing. I can’t see a picture of a natural lake surrounded by mountains without feeling something … and I can’t even explain what this feeling is! It’s what I imagine Heaven would feel like. Just utter bliss and staggering bewilderment and respect for everything around. I imagine standing on a roadside in Montana or – my newest obsession – the Canadian Rockies.4-3603-Yoho-National-Park-RM

I’ve never felt uncomfortable with my place in the world. If I ever got lost, someone else found me my way. If I got cold, I’d whine and sit in the car like a loser.

I want to find my way. Is that an odd thing to want in today’s world?

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