I am a 7 on the Enneagram. The 7 is the enthusiast and one of our struggles is the fear of being trapped. And let me tell you, I struggle constantly, and I mean constantly with the fear of being trapped. Trapped by people, circumstances, a job. Within the last 11 years I have moved, voluntarily, 10 times. And I have a hunch that I would have moved a lot more had I not fallen in love with my husband. Wanderlust has also lead me to take on a new job every two years. I also tend to spend a lot of time living in the future where I rearrange and change things like were we will live, what school the kids will go to, what path my career will take, what adventures lie ahead. It is mentally exhausting. I am always juggling possibilities and keeping everything on the table because I don’t want to miss an opportunity for something better.
I am learning that each time I slip into the future I must tune into the cause of my desire to escape the present. Often times I am escaping from the fear of being in the same place forever. I dislike permanency because it’s boring. I know shallow, right? But being outdoors weather it be hiking, boating or gardening is one of the few times that I feel free from the limits I place on myself. When I am outside everything is possible, and the box that society tries to put us in is broken away and I am free to just me.
The sense of freedom that accompanies me into the great outdoors is addicting. When I’m not outside, I’m looking at amazing outdoor photography and fantasizing about being in that picture. My mind wanders to outdoor places where time doesn’t exist and I am free to be a full time mother, partner and adventurer. Thank heaven and earth for my husband. Sometimes my ideas for our future can shake the ground a little and make him feel unstable. My “what if scenarios” make his head spin, but he hangs in there with me and will often suggest a walk with the kids or a trip to the playground because he knows that the best way to help me focus on the present is to get outside.
So, what does this have to do with this weekends hike? Everything! The hike almost didn’t happen because I was so tired. On Saturday, we started a garden with the kids. We went to the gardening store with the intention of growing a cucumber vine, but ended up with an assortment of wild flowers and three trees from the pine family. It was an absolute joy to watch the kids get dirty! MJ, fell knee deep into a puddle of mud that I created by digging out a hole for a bed of flowers. He didn’t seem to mind, so I didn’t either.
Starting the garden and being outside energized the whole family to gear up for a hike. With the busyness of summer and the beginning of the school year I really wasn’t sure that we would get out on a hike this weekend. I’m so glad that we did. We went to a nearby trail with grand views of the mountains. The trail was busy and everyone was kind for the most part. The area that we hiked offered several lookouts to both the mountains and Denver.
We opted to hike away from the city views and toward the mountain views. The trail was shaded by tall pine trees. With each step we felt the craziness of our western culture melt away. There was so much beauty to take in and some challenges to overcome as well. AJ navigated his way through two boulder fields with Joe and I close by. He did an amazing job balancing his little body and making decisions about where to step next. I was carrying MJ who was chatting in my ear and playing with my hair nearly the entire hike. I loved it!
When we got back to the car it was clear that MJ needed some time on his feet. He was so upset when I put him in his car seat. The moment I set him free the screams turned to laughter and the tears dried up. He just needed about 5 minutes to explore the earth and ground beneath him. MJ squatted low to explore the dirt with his hands. He then took off running, but soon looked back to make sure we were still there. This short stint where MJ was free from the carrier and car seat settled him down enough so that we could have a peaceful ride home.
Until next weekend!