Updated: Oct 28, 2021
(A repost of my Oct. 26th Instagram post on the same subject. From a evening drive I took through the foothills of the mountains. Plus some additional thoughts and experiences.)
"Today's drive was marked by a chance encounter with this small waterfall in the foothills of the mountains. I was amazed it wasn't more popular as it was located along a peaceful stretch of water with beautiful poplar trees lining the water edge. I [then] noticed it was privately owned land, then saw the plaques, set in stone, a short ways off. Upon realizing where I stood, I was reminded of the fragility of our lives and the fleeting nature of mortality. The remainder of my drive I reflected on this dear family and my family; our purpose here. Parker would have been the same age as my oldest brother.
Winter fast approaches here in Idaho. The mountains are constantly shrouded in snow storms blanketing the thick forests in brilliant white. Soon the winter and darkness will be fully upon us in the valley. I parked and watched the fading light of the day as it painted the hills, valley, and clouds with a vibrant orange. The lengthening shadows spread across the landscape until I, too, was barred from the light of the sun. A subtle metaphor [to] death and life beyond our view, for somewhere over the horizon, the sun still shone directly over head. Though darkness comes, and the night falls upon us, we press on knowing day comes, seasons change, and the Light will prevail and shine again!"
Some back story for today's drive: I slept in till 1:30 pm today. I missed both my classes and got no homework done. I walked downstairs to find a messy kitchen and my homework spread across the table. I wondered to myself, why is it I find myself yet again in such a slump? My mind raced ahead as I thought about my many responsibilities I put on hold. I was inundated with self deprecating thoughts as I lapsed back into the depression that rested upon my mind from the night before. I shook myself out of my head long enough to begin cleaning the kitchen. As I tidied up, I remembered an idea that I had come across several years before: (Perhaps we feel tired [and unmotivated] because we have done little of what sparks a light in us.) In the balance of life, with so much pulling at our attention, I think we tend to forget to care for ourselves. Of course there is a flip-side to this where we become too self-centered. But today, I caught hold of this thought and decided I would shower, feed myself, then take a drive. With only a loose direction in mind of where I wanted to go, I wandered through the foothills, in the general direction of the Tetons. It is in those hills I was graced with the presence this small waterfall and the tender memorial dedicated to the young man who died there. As well, I followed a towering, billowing storm as it was born and until it died atop the mountains where it dumped more snow. I decided to follow that storm to the very trees it was coating in snow. It was in those backroads where I had a momentary lapse of a loss of control. Another reminder of my human nature. I slid off the road into a ditch as I attempted to take a tight turn on a snow-covered gravel road. Coming to a rather abrupt stop, I marveled at how fortunate I was that the ditch wasn't deeper, or that there wasn't a cliff there instead. I realized how foolish I must look dressed like I just got out of bed (which I had) driving a vehicle with no chains in the snowy mountains. I quickly but cautiously recovered and returned to my drive out of the hills and back towards town just in time to see the brilliant setting sun paint the horizon with a vibrant orange. I turned off my music and sat in silence on the hill. I read from the scriptures, and pondered upon their words and upon my experiences from today. I prayed and soaked up the evening light before returning home.
Today has been spent. There is no going back. My responsibilities await, ever demanding, ever-present. Running doesn't mean you can't come back. I can't say if what I did today was right or wrong. All I know is what I felt through this experience. How I felt in my heart as I took the time to clear my head. I felt healing, peace, assurance, understanding, light, hope, and faith. I felt forgiveness and a reminder of my infinite worth!
I feel that there are many lessons to be learned from this experience, and I feel to share these experiences here knowing that this isn't my traditional travel blog post. Perhaps it will be of assistance to you who reads it, or not. Alas, so it is with life, we share and we live, either inspiring others, or being inspired ourselves. So we continue on..
Here are pictures from today, enjoy!