I’ve just gotten back from a vacation to Laramie, Wyoming. I was looking forward to the trip as I’ve never been to Wyoming and we were going to visit one of my husband’s friends. In truth I got far more than I bargained for. It was a wonderful trip, the effects of which are still resonating in my spirit.
The scenery was absolutely amazing. Broad swaths of prairie land over what once was the bottom of a prehistoric ocean, bordered on all sides by majestic looking mountains. The scenery had a wild sort of beauty, desolate and yet attractive at the same time.
The altitude took a little getting used to; we live at 64 feet above sea-level and here we were walking around at a base of 7,200 climbing up at times over 12,000. It literally took our breath away.
While we were adjusting to the altitude and spaciousness of Wyoming we quickly came to realize that we had virtually no cell service and the internet was very spotty. After one abortive attempt to check email I gave up.
In retrospect that was one of the biggest gifts of the trip. Completely disconnecting from personal technology allowed me to focus more on the beauty surrounding me. Hiking through varied terrain, enjoying the glorious color of the aspen groves, and spotting unusual-to-me animals was a treat beyond words.
The night-time was just as much of a treat as the day. With virtually no light pollution I had the best view of the night-time skies since we went camping years ago in the California desert. I could see the Milky Way in all of it’s glory, brilliant diamond-light stars that are invisible from my home in Texas, and the vastness of a sharp, clear, dark sky.
The nights were deliciously cold and we slept with the porch door open to allow the breezes in. One evening I woke up in the middle of the night to the chorus of coyotes calling across the valley. It was a shivery-delightful moment.
On our next to last day on vacation as we were hiking I realized I felt more relaxed than I had for a long time. I also realized that for the first time in a long time I was simply doing one thing, enjoying the moment. I’ve come to realize that I need to work a little harder to hold on to that moment and to seek similar opportunities within my day-to-day life. Often we become so overwhelmed by the requirements of our modern lives that we forget to slow down, disconnect from technology, and reconnect with our surroundings. To stop multi-tasking and recharge by finding that quiet spark within each of us that simply is.
I plan to make it a regular part of my day to spend some time sitting quietly and letting go. Getting rid of the stress and tension that builds up all to quickly when we push ourselves to be uber-productive. Remembering that feeling of calm that came with disconnecting has gotten me to recommit to at least one day a week when I can repeat the experience. I think I’ll feel better for it and I’m guessing I’ll be happier too.