Saturday, July 10, 2010

WHOA! (That's what the sign says)

Your going to have to indulge me for a little while here while I settle back into regular life.  You see, when I go home...I mean HOME (like not the place I live right now, but the place I'm from) I move into a different mindset. 

Everything slows down a little.  The sun shines a little brighter and the times rolls on a little easier.  There are very few time commitments and our friends and relatives carve out loads of hours just to visit.  There's wide open space and there's evening barbeques.  There's buckets of cousins running about and lawn chairs filled with adults chatting about what has happened since the last time we were together. 

My mind becomes clearer and the unimportant becomes much more clearly....UNIMPORTANT.   Want to come with me there for a few minutes?  Let's go. 

When we go home we head to the mountains to a little town where there are very few stop signs and no STOP lights.  Actually, the STOP signs look like this:

This is not a joke.  The signs really say WHOA!  It's just a really laid back small town way of saying you might want to SLOW DOWN and look around before you bolt through the intersection.  But, they went ahead and made it official.  I know, it's just a few signs.  But this time it really made me want to go....WHOA.  Imagine a cowboy saying it to his horse...that's how it sounded in my mind.  Low and and rumbly and calm WHOOAAA.

For a few days we had no internet, no TV, and very little cell phone coverage (only if you stand in the right place).  Our kids played in the dirt all day and my husband got up early and snuck out to fish with his brothers.  We rode horses.  Beautiful calm old horses. 

My eight year old begged to ride on her own and I tried to convince her that she would be better off riding with me.  I wanted so much to protect her from the chance of getting hurt but something inside me said that this was one of those moments that would matter to her.  So, she did it all alone.  Her little face beamed with pride as we rode down into the valley.  I watched her but she didn't watch me.  And as I saw her galloping gracefully away I thought about how she's growing up and how I will slowly have to realize that she is moving to greater heights. And it's OK, it's a good thing. The air was the perfect temperature.  My husband was behind me on his horse with my four year old in front of him on the saddle.  I could hear my son singing "The Lone Ranger" as they rode.  It was a calm, happy moment.

Back in town I saw evidence of hours and days of the kind of fun that someone will remember forever.  Don't you wish you would have built this treehouse?

I saw wheel lines in fields, watering land that has been cared for by generations of families.

I saw sheep. 

 Flowers that were planted by I don't know who but in that summer air they danced like they were a gift to anyone who passed.

I heard quiet.  The kind of quiet that makes you think about what life really is.  And I suddenly realized that so much of what I fret about and grumble about and fill my mind with is....nothing.  I mean, it's SOMETHING.  But, it's just not anything that really matters at all.  I saw that the memories we cherish most are most often quiet simple moments.  I saw that the most beautiful things often cost very little, or even nothing.  And I ached inside to never go back to normal life.  My wonderful beautiful life that I so often get sidetracked in.  Couldn't I just stay in the mountains with the WHOA signs and live out my days watching the kids play in the dirt and bring home fish for breakfast?

But, then I realized one more thing.  Mountain or desert or city or wilderness, it was not that exact place that I needed, it was the feeling.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that place.  But what I love most is that feeling of knowing exaclty what really matters and peacefully giving my focus to those things. 

I'm back in real life now.  This week I took the kids to get immunizations, had an appointment with the insurance guy, spent half an hour on the phone with the internet company trying to fix our connection, and had to get to tint on our car windows replaced.  I will now channel the WHOA sign....ahhhh.

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