I can here the rhythm of the rush hour this morning, a mix of cars, scooters, and delivery trucks. Alder’s making tickets for a party this evening and somewhere downstairs Kevin is making coffee. I’m here, writing and smiling about the past week. I turned 39 yesterday, a non-age according to all the world, but to me it seems like it just might be a good one. We celebrated with a few friends and neighbors with good cheese, tamales, and stout. Just the sort of celebration I like, no stressing about getting ready, few dishes for Kevin to wash afterwards. But my own personal celebration was last week while we were in Wyoming.
After leaving Vedawoo we headed west past Laramie and up into the Snowy Mountains in the Medicine Bow National Forest. It was a spontaneous choice, we were supposed to be heading home, but there was no immediate needs that couldn’t be met with a half hour at a coffee shop with our phones. There was no real plan, just spend the night up in the mountains and head home through Steamboat Springs where we would spend the day at the hot springs. Our lack of plans meant that we ended up at the camp ground that felt right. Which also happened to be right across the road from Libby Lake.
Once the boys were happy with their journals and fire making I went across the road to check out the lake. It was one of those high alpine lakes that the holds quiet. Though there were a few families around I coulsn’t hear them. There is something when you are already far away and then you go just a little further that brings about a very special sort of peacefulness. That was the space I was in as I walked around the lake.
The walk itself was beautiful; wetlands, alpine valleys, cliffs, streams, boulder fields. The rhythm of being by myself out there left me to think about anything, not the regular stresses of the everyday but the amusing daydreams that I don’t get to have very often. Of course my mind led to travel, specifically a road trip I have been promising myself and Alder since we moved back to Colorado. He and I want to take a winding trip across the country checking out all sorts of interesting places, meeting people, finding swimming holes, and having adventures. I’m trying to make this finally happen next summer. There are a lot of logistics to work out, but this walk was more about the delicious thoughts.
I love these moments when my mind is clear enough to allow these thoughts to come and go at their own speed, no requirements, no returning to the reality of the moment, because the thoughts are the moment. This was my present to myself. I wish I could explain it deeper and with more texture because it truly is a perfect moment. But the effects it’s had are really the important thing. I’m more focused on what I want to accomplish over the next months while Alder’s in school and where I want to be after then. It makes me want to search out these peaceful moments more. I realize that while they may seem indulgent they are really the sort of caring for myself that I need more of in my life. It isn’t that I need to be at a lake in the middle of no where but that I need to have a way to let go and just think. While there are so many responsibilities in my life regaining my focus and drive is an important part of being and loving.
I think mother’s spend a lot of time taking care of others and thinking about taking care of them that we often forget to take care of ourselves. Even after just one day of doing this I feel more awake and present than I have in a year. This time I also see that I am the one who has to take control of my days to make them what I want, to have them lead somewhere not just repeat each other. To do this I need not only to be able to check things off my to do list but also make it a priority to take these moments to myself. Because there has to be a balance between living for today and working towards tomorrow. So often I put taking care of myself in the tomorrow pile which if I am never whole will never come about.
Of course now I need to figure out how to find that feeling again a little closer to home.