When it comes to size, I’m a pretty little person. I drive a small car, and live in a relatively small apartment in a big building in the province’s biggest city, which is actually the equivalent to many small towns in other parts of the world. And yet I often feel swallowed up by the enormity of the world I live in. Sirens and alarms, streetlights and heavy traffic and work deadlines and blog deadlines.
I’m constantly racing from here to there, home to preschool, preschool to work, work to preschool, home to make dinner so F is in bed on time and so on and so on and so on and so on. I groan sitting in traffic, watching minutes tick by. I groan standing in a lineup, waiting for the person before me to finish unloading groceries from the cart to the cash. Life is busy and so I am busy, rushing to keep up.
I spent the last week on vacation. I checked in on my email two-three times a day, though, as I’m incapable of truly taking time off and I worried about what I was missing in the office. What would be waiting for me when I returned. But then, I unplugged for several hours.
I listened to music and laughed, I breathed in fresh air and smelled the salt water on the breeze. I laid down in grass and moss on the edge of the world and looked at the ocean and marvelled at how big the world is – even when it sometimes feels so, so small.
I watched bald eagles and seagulls and squirrels. I balanced precariously on rocks. I watched an iPhone 6 land in a puddle – and survive! I got eaten alive by mosquitos. I ate lobster sandwiches and carrot sticks at lunch and clam strips and fries for dinner. I drank a 20oz beer, unapologetically, without once thinking about calories or my bikini body. I shocked myself by jumping into the cold, cold, COLD water below a waterfall after standing apprehensively with partially numb toes pondering the idea for quite some time. I was the best kind of exhausted – the kind where you fall into the deepest, most restorative sleep even though you still feel like you could do your whole day over again, twice.
When I woke up this morning, I could feel the slight ache in my shoulders from carrying a backpack yesterday and I gently stretched my legs to see if they were sore from the 20km I’d put on in the last two days. (They weren’t – yay!) I thought of my day yesterday, of how good it felt to be outside in nature and to feel small in such a big way. In just a moment, a tweet reaches the other side of the world. I spend most of my time connecting via technology instead of connecting with myself and my surroundings.
Every day, we’re bombarded with stories of sadness and hatred. We’re exhausted trying to keep ourselves afloat and we forget to breathe. We forget to slow down. Stop.
And we forget that places like this exist and that not all the good has gone from the world.
(And I will remember this moment forever.)