Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kicking out January!

Well, it's time for a new month! It is amazing to me that we are already one month into the year 2010. My grandpa used to say that time went faster as you got older. Well, now I see what he was talking about. When I was a little kid, a summer school break seemed to go on and on without end. Now a summer break is but a blink, marked with too many to-do's and not enough laying in the hammack contemplating the leaves on the old pecan tree and hacking off the bluejay who's nest is directly above me.

My favorite family vacations are visiting national parks. I thank the people who had the forethought to set aside those lands across our country for people like me to visit and explore. My most favorite was a visit several years ago to Maine's Acadia National Park. I wrote a teachers grant and was able to go for 10 days and study. My family traveled with me. When I say 'my family', I mean MY FAMILY. As in my mom and dad, my sister and daughter, and my husband and kids. I was the only one who had the dream to visit Maine but my excitement caused the rest of the family to want to come along.

We had a time getting to Maine from Oklahoma, including getting dumped out in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the middle of the night by an airlines who will remain to be used by me today, renting a panel van and driving across lower Michigan to get to Detroit before sunrise taking with us two stranded naval officers who were going to be awol if they didn't get where they were going! We did finally make it one day late to Maine. The trouble we had to overcome getting there only made me more resolved to experience Maine's coast to the fullest. We spent two days driving along the coastline from New Hampshire to Acadia, stopping and gawking at the raw power of the Northern Atlantic Ocean like little kids.

As we hiked up Cadillac Mountain and strolled along carriage trails, I began to realize how much more creative I would probably be if I allowed myself to just be still and wait. To open myself up to just experiencing God's gift of nature. Waiting is not something I do well and being still is even harder for me. Besides learning about the varied ecosystems of Acadia National Park, I think the most valuable lesson I learned was that when you are still, you can see things that typically get lost in the day-to-day. The beautiful sunrise or sunset, the loon gliding on the lake or the fog rolling in or the wonder in someone's face at the awesome power of the oceans waves.

Traveling with three generations to a place that was completely foreign to all of us was an awesome experience. My parents were as filled with wonder as my children at some of the sights we saw. We have collective memories that we can share with each other for all the rest of our years.

And we all learned that a vacation doesn't have to include a theme park or a large city. Sometimes, we need to let God's theme park leave us in awe!

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