I’ve never considered myself a nature person. I’m somewhere between Cher Horowitz and Dora the Explorer. I don’t know how to pitch a tent. Until this past year I had never used my sleeping bag outside of my living room. The thought of not having a bathroom within walking distance sends me into a state of anxiety so severe it’s only parallel to that of a psychologist in a strip club. Also, bears.
Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the elements and nothing beats a good sunset but there’s a lot about nature that scares the living hell out of me. For starters, bugs. I can’t. The crawling kind, the flying kind, the biting kind, all the kinds. No. They are small, they travel in packs and they are trying to kill me. Tiny assassins.
You want to see a 30 something turn into a total lunatic in a matter of seconds? Just add mosquitoes. My cousin got married in Saint Louis in July but by the looks of my arms and legs you would have thought I just got back from a jungle cruise and contracted twenty different strands of malaria. I become a lumpy, itchy mess within seconds of sundown. There is no lotion, candle, essential oil or spray that can save me. They know who I am! (That was an original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie reference if you didn’t catch it)
I signed up for a stingray cruise and it would seem I didn’t quite wrap my head around the concept when I did. It wasn’t until we docked and I watched all of my friends file out of the boat to frolic with stingrays that I finally realized what I had actually signed up for. Why would I WANT to go swimming with stingrays?? Why would anyone want to do that?? I spent the majority of the excursion giving myself a pep talk and the only reason I ever got off of the boat was because I paid for it. I was financially obligated. I’m blue collar like that.
As diverse as the world is, nature brings us all together. I know this because I saw about a hundred adults race to a window with camera phones ready to go when a rainbow appeared the other day. People were downright giddy. It was all anyone could talk about for the next few hours. This rainbow produced sublime happiness and nothing else mattered in that moment. It’s amazing what water and light can do for the soul.
As far as this world has come, nature has always been present. The alpha and the omega. Just as the sun will surely rise, it will certainly set. In this chaotic, impatient and overly stimulated day and age we live in, it is a relief to have such a stoic and calming constant. The older I get, the more I appreciate the earth around me.
My mom took me to the Grand Canyon for my 30th birthday. (For the record, the pictures above and below are 100% real, taken by me. No filters.) It actually left me speechless.
Stupefied, awe struck, enchanted silence. This is not something that happens to me often, if at all. Quiet is not a word that will ever be used to describe me. But I stood there as close to the edge as my nerves would allow and took it all in, believing that life was so much bigger than me. If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, pack your bags and leave immediately. It will put your priorities into perspective.
This world is so big and my feet have only touched a tiny portion of it. I have so much more to see and be inspired by. Life is so colossal that it’s easy to be consumed by what’s happening in our own little bubbles. I’m telling you to pop the bubble, folks. If you don’t believe there is something bigger than you in this world, get out there. Explore. Swim with stingrays, get eaten alive by mosquitos, take helicopter rides, sleep under the stars and really take in the world you live. Realize that you are just a piece of this universe. Mother Nature is magestic and she is nothing short of magical. Taste the rainbow xx