Paradise Found

 So, I'm a bit ashamed to share this with you, but here goes.

We live in the woods.  

That's not what I'm ashamed of.

We do live in the woods, and this is an incredible gift, a gift I'm certain that I don't deserve.  My shame stems from the fact that I don't take advantage of this gift the way that I should.  We live on the doorstep of wilderness, and though every single day we could be out snowshoeing, hiking, whitewater kayaking, flatwater kayaking, canoe paddling, road biking, mountain biking, trail running or rock climbing - almost all from our front door - I have discovered that far too often I find myself in a lifeless and unholy union with our living room couch... like herbed butter melting over a grilled steak, my arms and legs drip sluggishly off of the cushions.  Limbs that are also increasingly composed of butter, my diet would suggest.

If you are feeling any pang of empathy for me at this moment, keep reading.  The following glimpses of forest life should shock you into proper rage at the grand injustice of my slothful existence.  I guarantee that you'll be gearing up to hunt me, armed with envy and a pitchfork, in 90 seconds flat.  And I, in true form, won't be running, so it'll be easy for you to find me and fork me to death for my crimes.

So here it is.  This is life:

We wake up to this view from the front lawn (during summer, that other season).

We get to go down giant slip'n'slides with our friends,

and play in the mud.

We can canoe,

or go whitewater rafting

[at night].
We can paddle rivers,

or sometimes just look good standing next to them.

We can snowshoe,

and take snowy, flannel-y Christmas photos.

But I don't do these things very often.  Instead I seep into the furniture... like a spilled drink.

Miraculously, despite my persistent attempts at shameful lethargy, yesterday was a day that gives me hope - hope that maybe... somehow... I'll collect my drooping limbs a little more often with aspirations of grasping the wealth of adventure found in our vast backyard.  About this time yesterday afternoon, along with a group of friends, C and I took our snowmobiles part-way up a nearby mountain.  From there, we strapped on our snowshoes so that we could hike the remaining distance to the peak on foot.  This was a day to employ what I believe to be a crucial life practice, which is to recognize the incredible nature of what you are actively doing, in the moment that you are actively doing it.  It is when you whisper quietly to yourself or shout to the birds, "this is awesome", and you know it to be true, right down to your bones...

right then...

         as you live it...

as you do it.

So now you can see why it is such a shame to let the smallest opportunity for adventure pass me by.  Because at the end of the day, what story have I written?  What awe have I experienced?  What risk?  What reward?  What part of this incredible created world have I let soak deep into my being and stir my spirit?

Here, where I could throw a rock from our deck and unintentionally kill a brook trout, there is no excuse.  Only opportunity. And as I strive to take hold of mine, I will also hope that you are out there, searching, finding, and fully discovering yours.

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