Friday, September 17, 2010

Mountain Magic (well, ocean magic, too, this time)

Tristan and I have a way of seeing things work out. Sometimes they don't work the way we had hoped, but often things turn out better than you could have wanted. We have numerous stories to show for this, like the time we drove, as new explorers of this great state, into the Vermont night looking for a place along a dead end dirt road to sleep in our car, when out of the darkness popped this man with a beard and way more flannel than a normal person should be wearing. "You need a place to stay?" he asked us. We must have stuttered something inaudible, and he quickly got us set up for a night at Underhill State Park. It was about 1am, and the campground was well shut-down for the night, and I'm not sure how it worked out that we happened upon this nice ranger guy at the right moment. But it couldn't have worked out better, and our stay couldn't have been nicer. Our travels - and everyday life - are full of stories like this, full of serendipity.

I don't think it's due to either of us being particularly enchanted, but rather to our willingness to let things be and to appreciate how they unfold, at their own pace and in their own wonderful way. And to then be thankful and appreciative for what we have found. It's more an attitude of magic, than a spell, and I think it comes from our many months of living at a walking pace and attuning to a more natural rhythm. Plus, we're both willing to foray into the unknown without a plan, knowing that some excitement and adventure waits for us, and that all you have to do is carry through with a thankfulness and appreciation for whatever comes about. This wide-open aproach leaves you available for lots of opportunities, whereas an itinerary causes you to overlook them.
Our recent trip to Acadia National Park was the first time in several years that we were able to let go of schedules, obligations, and life pulling us in many directions. It had been a long time since we could open ourselves up to opportunity. Because of this, we were a little rusty at finding our rhythm, at letting the magic unfold, and at letting go and being free to follow a more natural, familiar ryhthm. But once we got in sync with each other and with everything around us, it was grand.
Our first few days were filled with things like a campsite next to the bathroom with industrial-strength toilets...that got flushed at all hours of the night, and a western sunrise (yes, I am aware that the sun rises on the east) for which I woke Tristan up in the cold morning darkness to drive to the most western point of the island to watch the sun come up (it was early and I forgot my bearings). But on our western sunrise, we saw porpoises! And from the industrial toilet campground we discovered the Wonderland Trail (my very favorite spot), the town of Southwest Harbor, and the market with strong coffee and fresh baked biscuits. Again, I don't mean to claim we are enchanted, but that we don't let these glitches get us down and, instead, in the middle of them, we find something to wonder at, something to be so thankful for, something to appreciate.
Our vacation was filled with sea air, warm sunshine, delicous food, good sleep, and wonderful sights. And it was a great time to re-connect and to rejuvenate. Watching Odin discover the ocean was my happiest moment in life so far, and watching Tristan explore the shores in the fading sunlight of afternoon, with a backdrop of pines, rocks, and ocean waves, put a feeling of contentment in my heart that grounded me right to the moment, and to this life. Without these times to sit back and reflect, to let life take its ryhtym instead of imposing my rhythm on life, I would be a soul-less person. And I came home from our get-away with a renewed thankfulness for this life. Adventure is a state of mind, and the ingredients for reaching this state include openness and willingness to let things be, appreciation and gratefulness for what you're presented with, and the kindness of heart to be thankful for all that you're given.


  1. rhythm is grand. How did Odin like the ocean?

  2. He loved the ocean, took him alittle time to not drink it everytime he went in, but he eventually got the hang of it!