On ceasing to rush.

Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.
– John Muir

Each time I step out into the woods, each time my feet reconnect with the ground and my hands brush the bark of the trees, I am renewing vows.

Remaking promises with myself, the trees, and God.

When my youngest was born, I changed.  I became a new and different person.  Finally I saw, truly saw, what I had, and I vowed to quit rushing.

Mountains know the secrets we need to learn.
– Tyler Knott Gregson

It took some time for me to learn to let go of things that aren’t as important.  It took longer for me to learn to not worry so much about what other people might think if we stopped or didn’t do something.

It’s been two years now, and gradually, we have changed everything.  We’ve left things behind us and we’ve slowed down.

A few weeks ago, I was out in the woods , walking down towards the river, alone.  One of those rare, Saturday moments that a sweet husband is able to give me once in a while.  So many things have changed in our lives since moving here.  It’s been exhilarating and at times disorienting as I’ve tried to figure out what God truly wants for my life now.  I kneeled in the snow and prayed, and when I stood again, I had my answer.

Since then, I’ve focused on slowing down and letting go even more than before.  I’ve given my heart to my kids and I’ve stopped hurrying.  I’ve stopped worrying about being somewhere or getting things done.  I’ve just given myself to them and their dreams and their little everyday wishes.  It’s so incredible what they have time to do and to become when they aren’t rushed from one thing to the next.  (And I’m not talking about having time to practice the piano for 12 hours.  I’m talking about the soul-searching, whole-being development they have had time to explore.)

I’m wildly happy, for the first time.  I’m focusing on the few things in my life that I know truly matter.  And though there are good and dear things I’ve left behind, I know that, right now, I’m doing what is right for my life.

I’m quiet and I listen.  I’m watchful.  We still work hard.  But we’re quiet and more and more, only have time for things that really matter.  There was a time in our lives when we didn’t have time for snow.  That makes me sad.  I watch my girls in the trees, lost in dreams, and I can’t imagine telling them to stop getting wet or dirty so that we can be somewhere in an hour.  I just don’t think I could do that to them ever again.

One of the nicest things to realize is that, sans pine trees, I could have had this life all along.  I just had to have the courage and faith to stop worrying, stop pushing, stop rushing.

In ceasing the rush, I feel like I’m finally discovering things I’ve waited so long to discover.  I see my children.  I see others.  And more and more, I see myself.

Lie down among the pines for a while, then get to plain pure white love-work … to help humanity and other mortals and the Lord.
– John Muir

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