I have a “spot,” and I’ve spoken about this spot before. It's where I go to clear my head and think and get inspiration. It’s a trail that runs along a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I run for about twenty minutes, then take a smaller, more narrow side trail that leads out to a cliff that’s about twenty feet above a rocky, jagged part of the coastline. And that’s where I sit, and I ask questions, and sometimes I get answers. Sometimes I cry, and sometimes I don’t. But no matter what happens, I always feel better afterwards…like I’ve spent time talking with a close friend and I have a better handle on life. Does anyone else have a spot like this?
Today when I was at my spot, I cried. But it was a good kind of cry, because I was watching a flock of seagulls fly by me in a neat, single-file line, and as I watched them fly off, a small sailboat came into view, all at the exact moment the sun was setting over the ocean. It was a moment that took my breath away, and I realized…I freakin’ love where I live!!!
I love that I live in a place where we can take my six-year-old son kayaking and shark fishing and hiking and surfing and bird watching, all within a few minutes of our house. I love that my little boy knows when the tide is in and when it’s out, and that he loves walking through eucalyptus groves. And I love that I have a special spot where I can get away and feel connected with my surroundings. And that my environment can inspire me and lift me up, just like a friend.
I think when I was younger I paid more attention to people, not surroundings. I was more concerned with the people I liked and the people I didn’t like and the people I was jealous of and the people who annoyed me. But now that I’m a teensy bit older, and hopefully a teensy bit wiser, I’ve simplified things. I surround myself with the people I love and the ones who love me…no more, no less. And then I just enjoy my surroundings. So now, (and don’t worry, I realize how cheesy this sounds) I’ve learned how to love our Earth just as much as the people who inhabit it.
So what does this all mean? I don’t know. I kinda feel like Stan at the end of a South Park episode: “I’ve really learned something today!” That I need to teach my child that the environment is important. That it’s true he needs to be friends with lots of kids (and lots of different types of kids), but he also needs to be friends with his surroundings. And that nature can fill a need, just like people can.
So, here we are, forcing our son to be friends with his surroundings. And I have a feeling he doesn’t mind it one bit…