Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. If we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
When did you feel most alive recently? Where were you? What did you smell? What sights and sounds did you experience? Capture that moment on paper and recall that feeling. Then, when it’s time to create something, read your own words to reclaim a sense of being to motivate you to complete a task at hand.
(Author: Sam Davidson)
Feeling alive is something I’ve been very familiar with, but seemed to have lost touch with recently. Stress gets in the way, a million excuses get made, and all the while, living gets neglected. It’s ironic that we put so much energy into avoiding living. But that’s a story for another day.
I felt really alive while I was in Vermont on vacation last week. The afternoon of July 4th, to be exact. I didn’t have my phone with me (it was locked in the trunk of the car). I wasn’t thinking about work or things I needed to do. I was just enjoying the scenery and a walk to Thundering Falls with Brent and his family. It was nice, not having to think about anything for awhile. A much needed break. I think those, for me, are the moments when I feel most alive. You know, those times when you’re not thinking. You’re just being. You’re enjoying the pleasure of doing whatever you’re doing and for once, you’re not thinking about moving on to the next thing. Totally in the moment. For a little while, that’s where I was.
Thundering Falls wasn’t what I was expecting. When I heard about a waterfall in Vermont, I wasn’t really sure what to expect exactly. I wasn’t thinking about the gorgeous walk across the marsh boardwalk. I didn’t imagine seeing a beaver dam and flowers that grew upside down. It never crossed my mind that I would be able to smell the water and a field and a marsh blending together in the summer heat. It was nice, just for a few moments, to appreciate where I was.
I was quiet on the walk. I spent most of my time just enjoying what I was seeing. The waterfall, the rocks, the green…Vermont is very green. Much greener than Pennsylvania. That’s the one thing that comes to mind when I think about Vermont. It has beautiful shades of green.
Brent’s family decided to forge on ahead and climb up to the top of the falls. I decided to stay behind. Chuck Taylors aren’t the best footwear for hiking on slippery slopes. Brent stayed behind with me. We sat with each other on a rock, breathing in the mist from the falls and just enjoying the quiet. We talked a little bit. We exchanged smiles back and forth. Comfortable silence.
I wasn’t doing anything amazing and I wasn’t forging a trail ahead. I chose to spend my most recent moment of alive-est just watching, sitting, and being in front of a waterfall in the middle of the woods.