Once, we hopped on a plane to headed to Maine to meet my mom’s side of the family in Acadia. I’d never visited anywhere in the NE and I was beyond excited to see all the lush trees, the Atlantic, and the expanse of unfamiliar wilderness. I felt such a sense of calm during the trip, some of which I attribute to the fact there was zero cell reception, but mostly because I felt so natural and whole. My blood seemed to feel different. It thrummed through me with a new sense of purpose. Far removed from everything I knew, and that knew me, that I could just relax and settle into who I was.
Being that I was directly in the middle of the first Saturn return, the trip was a very contemplative time all around, but looking back on my journals from the trip got me thinking about my values. I’d like to share some of what I wrote in my calm ass meditative state:
Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe this place. It is unrestrained and feral. It’s a monster of a thing that’s been here all along, and will continue to be long after we return to Earth. The ocean sings and the lobster boats drone on. The tide an endless plea to the dense and close forests. There are bears and foxes. There are moths as big as my hand. And there is Us.
I don’t know when I first heard my call to nature. It might have been long ago, but it’s only recent that I’ve acknowledged it. Having such “outdoorsy” parents — their Honeymoon was in Yosemite — it’s only natural that I should find a similar communion with the space laid out for us. Being away from our primal selves, displaced among cities and structure that confuse our purpose and our growth. We are not meant to find life’s purpose in the things created by societies constructs.
I don’t want to feel small. I want to feel my toes in the dirt. I want to cook for my family. I want to watch my children grow and know that I am real. That I am not a statistic. That I am part of this Earth, not this ugly system we’ve created for ourselves.
But how do you arrive? How can you really reject all the shit and get back to the real heart of existence? I’m not sure either… I never thought I’d want a simple life. I’m not even sure that I do. I just know that as I get older, I’ve come to realize that I don’t need any of the things that unecessarily stress me out and cause me to live anything short of my true ideal.
Acadia will always be the first place the sun rises on the East Coast. It will always be beautiful. And wild. And free. She’s just like you. She’s just like me.
Finding a baseline for contentment is critical to building a meaningful life. The experience of rereading this has been a tremendous incentive to follow my heart and do what comes to me naturally. I was so at peace with myself and with my life, living day-to-day.
Sometimes being stripped of our environmental baggage can show us how to find happiness in our most base of birth rights and the courage to live simply.