It’s been just over a year since we packed up and moved back to Southern Oregon after 15 years in Modesto, Ca.
Deciding to move back may have been one of - no definitely was - the second most difficult decision I’ve ever made. The first most difficult decision? Deciding to leave the full-time ministry two + years ago - but that’s another story for another time.
I’ve got many stand-outs over the last year. Experiences, lessons, points of growth, challenges, heartaches, successes, failures...you know, the usual this-is-what-it-means-to-be-a-human kind of stuff.
If you’ve paid any attention at all to my FB over this past year, or to Amie's, you know that we’ve made a concerted effort to spend more time outside - on wooded trails, on granite ridges, under blue skies and evergreen canopies, crossing streams, diving into mountain lakes, and gazing at the blue skies, the clouds and stars above. We’ve always been active outdoor types, and it’s been great rediscovering our happy place.
Just yesterday evening after work, we drove the 10 minutes to our l
Couple big thoughts here, at least for me.
Big thought #1: Being outside and moving with purpose has definitely been therapeutic. It’s been a means of healing, of resetting some dials, of clearing some cobwebs, getting my head and heart straight, and of listening and hearing something. And I’ve needed all of that. Boy, have I ever - more than I knew.
There’s still a lot of unwinding and putting back together that needs to happen in my soul. But a lot of my growth, progress, and healing has been initiated and furthered as I’ve hit the trail. Oft times I’d start off down the trail not knowing that something I’d see or something I’d hear, usually via Jon Foreman and/or Switchfoot, would find its way through the teflon of my heart and just DO something inside of me. Sometimes it was the joy of being alive and being loved - raised arms and a little air guitar. Other times it was wrestling with something deeply painful, and gazing up through tears at dust motes sliding through slants of light. Both experiences I consider my happy place.
Getting away, unplugging, even if it’s for 30 minutes, has been so good for my soul. I need to unplug from cars and motors, from laptops, phones and high tech, from buildings, paved roads, steel, concrete, from my cubicle, even other humans. I need to unplug from my worries and fears, from conflict internal and external, from my angst, from my problems. I need to unplug from me and plug into something else. It just does something, getting outside,...something significant.
It strips me down to my most elemental self: just me and a great big world - a world thankfully bigger than all of THAT. It helps me ditch my baggage. Among other reasons, I’m convinced Jesus sought solitude in the the wilderness for many of the same reasons, and He encourages others to do likewise.
So, where is it that you find solitude away from the madding crowd? (Just looked this up - “madding” means frenzied: a perfect definition!) Where’s your go-to for finding your happy place?
(big thought #2 later this week...)