“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
I spent some time this week on vacation. On a real vacation. My kind of vacation. The four of us got in the car, drove several hours far away from sea level, far away from the reach of cell phones, and we just left it all behind. Ok, maybe we didn't leave it all behind-- we had satellite television and internet. And we took our dogs.
We just lived. Plans were made each night and then changed each morning, and then spontaneously changed as we drove. Normally, this is something that strikes fear in my little planner's heart. But there was no time limit. No "we need to be home by." No "we have to." We drove and took roads that ended in places unknown to us. We hiked on trails that looped back on themselves or up and over mountains for miles (and upon discovering that any of these trails could end in Maine, we turned back). We waded in clothes not meant for wading and resumed hikes in squishy shoes. We laughed. We joked. We breathed.
And we argued, too. I mean, really; life is not a Hallmark Channel movie. And when you are only spending time with each other, it happens. But we forgave and moved on, too busy carrying a walking stick or an inner tube or a fishing pole or a skipping stone to carry a grudge.
It felt amazing. To just be. Maybe you're a city person. Maybe you can't imagine time out in a buggy, dirty, smelly* outdoor setting. But maybe you should. Maybe you should schedule an appointment.
*On our trip up to the cabin the first night, windows down, my son asked, "What's that smell?!" "Trees and mountains and earth," I replied.