I find myself in the early morning moments of my day yearning for a simpler time when the sun is waking everything up, the sky brilliant blue, and birds are singing in the tree branches. There is something embedded in those moments that take me out of where I am and place me in some mountain plateau with only the scenery to keep me company. It is as if my soul is recharged in those moments and my world begins to make sense again, all the foolishness fading away into the cool grass beneath my feet. In a handful of days I hope to have that opportunity when my wife and a couple of our children embark on a western road trip back to that mountainous province full of streams, rivers, ocean, and all the things that come with that.
But I am worried that I will miss it all. That it will fly by and I will not have figured out how to relax enough in the moment to take it all in.
It is like the meaningless actions of commuters. They take advantage of a break in the traffic just large enough to race ahead and cut off someone only to be right in front of the person they just cut off. All they have accomplished is to be a few feet ahead but here we both are stuck in traffic, desperate to get home and to escape the misery of it all and they are none the better for such an aggressive move. Meaningless but yet so many of us tend to do this – scratching away at our existence in order to derive one moment of personal victory, one moment of joy in the day.
In my world these days – no, these months it has all seemed to be one endless traffic jam. Winter is a constant in this province, relenting in April/May to the sudden and abrupt arrival of spring leading to an intense burst of summer before it all goes to hell in late September, early October when winter wants her prize back. Then, if winter isn’t hard enough life has thrown so much at me over this last year that I have quite honestly found myself on several occasions shouting out to anybody or anything that gives a damn, “Enough! Stop it!” When this is compounded against the content of my job, working with the marginalised and broken aspects of our population there becomes a narrowing place for hope to reside.
This is why the sunshine and blue skies are so very important to me. This is my rainstorm – bringing with it hope and a way to see my way out of my circumstances. I never want to take for granted the view from my office, looking at a park across the street – no office buildings to block my view. I never want to take for granted the view from my living room window, looking at the beautiful garden oasis that my wife has created in our front yard. No, it is so very important that I don’t take those things for granted.
Which is why this trip is so very important. And why it is so very important that before I actually leave on the trip I can figure out a way to slow my brain down, to turn it off from the endless misery that seems to follow me around. To deflect other people’s problems, to block other people’s drama/misery long enough to break free for a few days to pour into myself once again. To feast on the geography of this most western province and escape the doldrums of prairie landscaping in this quasi-spring season. Various shades of brown with sticks of yellow just isn’t doing it for me lately.