Or perhaps I should say, “To walk a life into being.”
My husband and I spent the 4th in nature. It was the perfect way for us to express a reverence for what feels worthy, real, and based upon love. We brought the dogs along, which meant a perfect day for our canine companions as well.
Sitting on our front porch with a cup of tea dividing us, I scrolled through the “All Trails” app on my phone until I found one that just felt right. A new trail, to us, not too far away. And so, after breakfast was consumed, water bottles filled, and a couple of granola bars tucked in pockets, we set off in a race to the “minivan.”
We no longer have a minivan, but my husband and I love to shout out, “go straight to the minivan,” to incite the dogs and annoy the teenagers. The said teenagers, though, had their own plans for the day. Still, it brought a smile to our faces, and, naturally the dogs’ who could not have been happier. There’s nothing like a good car ride as long as the destination is not the vets.
With windows cranked to snout-level, we were off on our new adventure. The day perfect according to the weather. The high hovering around 80, the breeze just enough to keep most of the bugs away, and the sky as blue as our children’s eyes. We did miss them, but sometimes it’s nice to have that time to recall how you began.
And for us, it began 31 years ago. I’m going to take a slight pause to let that sink in…
We were at the place where our son is temporarily residing, the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program. It was July 4th, 1991, and although I can’t tell you the exact details about the weather, I can recall in full-color the certain sundress I borrowed from a friend to impress a boy I had seen on the baseball field at recreation time. We met over bowls of ice cream, and the rest is our story.
So here we were, 31 years later, celebrating our story in the quiet way we knew best. Out in nature. We parked beside a wooden sign in front of a field of grasses, milkweed, and butterflies and suddenly I found myself falling in love, again. This land, not wholly ours, but from which we are all birthed, enfolding us like a mother who forgives even if she never forgets. And we, walking upon her, opened to love.
And wild wonder.
I was 48, 17, and 4. All ages wrapped up into one body, which is the way wonder finds us. Time slips past meaning and nothing else matters. The body’s bounds tangible, yet free. And the mind, that illusive organ without a physical structure, finds its tune and begins to sing of home. There it nothing better.
Life unties its binds in these moments and pure being erupts into the dream without the nightmare. As we walked that trail through the butterfly fields and into the woods beside a river, I began to dream of Life as it opened before us. The smile, spreading ever-wide upon my face. My body alive with the energy of being. And that vision that enfolded wider with each footstep, imprinted in full-color upon the canvas of my mind.
What a gift of a day.