I recently took a mother/daughter trip out to the pacific north west for a little R & R We stayed with my godparents in beautiful Lake Oswego, right outside of portland. it is rare to be able to take this length of trip with just the two of us., so I tried to soak up every minute. It was a needed breath of fresh air in every way.
my intention was to document as much as i could. my husband gifted a nice camera to me and i hardly know how to operate it. So this adventure was going to be a photography lesson amongst other things. All i wanted was to eat, take pictures, and just reveal in the glorious pacific northwest. I have been working around the clock, and barely catching my breath. The PNW was going to be my break! I am not the first nor the last to suggest the importance of taking time for ourselves. In an age of constant go, we are hardly still. I mean that physically, but more so mentally. Even when we are sitting, we are on our phones, when there is a scenic view we want to document it, when we are with friends or family we are taking pictures to capture the moment that has now passed us by.. we have a desire to make our actions seem of importance socially. We are not mentally quiet.
I can vividly recall the first time that i had moved to new york for school i thrived in the pace of life there. it never stopped, it spurred me on, it was the boost of energy that i yearned for. perhaps it is with age, or with life experiences but i feel recharged now when i am able to sit in quiet. This trip was not necessarily quiet, but it was a reminder to be still. Nestled in the mountains, portland shines, but where we were had the kind of views that are post card worthy. of course all i wanted was my camera, or my phone in the very least. I had to document this! EVERY TIME I PULLED them out AND TOOK SOME PHOTOS, I WAS UNSATISFIED. I THINK A LITTLE OF THAT IS THE PERFECTIONIST IN ME, AND THEN THE OTHER PART IS THAT I NEEDED TO STOP. THERE WAS NO WAY THAT I WOULD BE ABLE TO CAPTURE SOME OF THE MOST REMARKABLE VIEWS OR LANDSCAPES. what was remarkable is that my lack of equipment and photographic talent made me be present. The last two years I have had a strong tendency to live in the past, or in the future. I have longed for days with my son that would never be (at least not on this earth), and ached for moments that I held him close. I have wished for changes in my career that inevitable would not have brought me to the opportunities that i have now. perhaps we have all been there, projecting for a life that isn't. What i have found is that absence robs you completely of your gifted time of now. This trip was a time to experience "now", to embrace the shared moments with my mom and her friends, to breathe in the fresh air and change of season, to laugh and cry with friends that I don't see enough, to savor food, to walk without the constraint of time or deadlines, to appreciate the business that I have that allowed me to be there, to appreciate my partner who encourages me to take trips with my mom knowing that they are numbered, to acknowledge joy.. pure and simple. That is life - the little things that are ultimately very big things.
once i returned home, refreshed and renewed i flew immediately back into a whirlwind work schedule. i know that life can't always be like my trip of leisure. what it can be though is intentional. I can be deliberate with my time of stillness that is needed to quiet my mind. the importance of prayer and meditation have never escaped me, but they are now necessary for my restoration.