August 1st, 2016 Journal Entry
We have not officially left on our “journey” yet, but there are a few things that have come to me already I thought I would share. I am sitting on a sandy beach on the shore of the Upper St. Croix River. The Rolling Stones are playing through our small speaker. Behind me Solvi is pulled up on the beach. Just over the ledge behind her is our camp- a hammock swaying in the breeze between two trees just on the ledge. And as I am sitting in the sunshine watching the various ripples on the water I had a strong feeling of pure bliss come over me. I giggled and in my head heard my inner voice say, “This is it, you are here. You’ve arrived.” At first I argued and said to myself, well not quite, we haven’t left on the official journey yet! And as though on que a gust of wind came roaring up the river as if to say, “Oh but you have- this is it– Here. Now.” And slowly something I have been trying to learn, practice, and understand for years really began to sink in. We must live in the present moment because it is all we will ever have. This is not to say that we shouldn’t plan for the future or reminisce on the past, but we can’t forget to be here along the way. I feel our society is constantly working towards moving forward. Go to school, move up grades, go to college, get a job, have a family, work hard, retire. And while I am in no way talking down on this system we have in place, I am realizing that we must not spend our lives waiting to “arrive”. We have arrived! This is the real thing. If there is something we really want in life, out of life, we must start making strides for it now, because life doesn’t wait. The sun comes up and goes down everyday regardless of if we are ready or not. So whether we are working, traveling, happy, or sad, we must learn to practice mindfulness. When I use the term mindfulness I relate it to being mindful or present in this exact moment. I make an effort everyday to take what I call conscious breaths. We breath all day long without having to think about it. Just like the setting sun, it happens without us telling it to. But what happens when we do think about it? What happens when we consciously breathe in and out a couple times? Try it! For me, I become completely present, even if just for a moment.
Now I am smiling because for the last 18 months during the whole planning and building of Solvi I was obsessed with our leave date. How free we’d be. How we will have finally arrived with our finished boat at the St. Croix River launch. But what I didn’t realize until now, is that I was so focused with the August 15th date, that sometimes I forgot to enjoy the ride of everything leading up to our departure. I was exactly where I was supposed to be the whole time! I just didn’t realize it. And I feel this is a thought process that can be applied to many different life styles and experiences.
I am grateful for this moment and am going to make an effort to try and enjoy the moments as they come. To not take life so seriously! The world is truly a magnificent place and we are only here in this form once. So let’s enjoy it- all of it 🙂 And on that note, I am going swimming in the cool river water.
With love and gratitude,