I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. – John Muir
The time we have spent in Wellington, New Zealand is a long time to stay put in comparison to other legs of this journey. It was by design as we wanted nothing more than to spend time with my sister and her family.
Something unexpected happened recently. We started to slowly trudge through the day-to-day. We worked at all hours to keep international deadlines. We felt a bit distant from each other as our social calendar filled up. We started saying things like, “We are too busy to go to the coast.” We started to worry more, laugh less, and watch more evening television.
We realized this behavior felt familiar and we needed to take charge. Lack of presence has nothing to do with geography. For us, it is something that creeps in like a chill through an old window pane. It happens when we revert to old patterns in times of uncertainty. It happens when we get the momentum going in an unwanted direction. It happens when we look outside of ourselves for evidence that we are on the right path. It happens …
The only thing that corrects our course, without fail, is nature. We believe we are in New Zealand now because it is truly a natural wonder. It is easy to access nature in this country. One week ago today, we headed into the bush for a long, much-needed walk. We went to Stagland’s Nature Reserve and felt the resistance in our bones melting with each curve of the snaking road we took to get out of town. The cicadas song replaced our chatter and we were silent by the time we arrived.
We walked slowly along the trails, noticing new bird calls and flowers along the way. We could feel our energy picking up again as a pig surprised us in the hand-hewn barn and we followed a flock of geese to a secret pond. We watched flowers open and ducklings navigate currents under the bridge. We observed nature’s wonders long enough to remember we are an integral part of it all.
By the time we reached the lookout at the trailhead, we were both stunned by the majestic view and drawn into the tiniest details. Our eyes darted from the fog settling in the valley on the horizon to the verdant green lichen clinging to the rocks below our feet. It was expansive and introspective, inclusive and regal, minuscule and grand, simple and complex, all in that brief moment. Nature is so gracious in its gifts, but we have to be present to receive them.
Nature releases resistance sometimes slowly, other times powerfully, and always by example. Suddenly out of that calm comes momentum from a new direction. Where is your current momentum taking you?