The world whirls past and pulls us along. Our phones, which are with us constantly, vie for our attention. Our jobs demand attention, seemingly around the clock. We need to cook; we need to clean; we need to shuttle our kids back and forth to this sport and that sport.
Slow down. Breathe. Last week, I wrote about the power of being outside and embracing Spring. Did you get the message? I did … for that day, but then I got busy. So this week, I tried again.
I spoke to a wonderful women’s group in Hot Springs Village this Wednesday and was only a few minutes from one of the Village’s trails, so after the meeting was over I headed over to the Minorca Trail where we used to take our boys to feed the fish. If you have not been on any of their trails, you should. This link includes each one: http://www.hotspringsvillagetrails.com. They are ideal for walkers, for runners, and for cyclists.
This particular trail is a flat, wide path, without any rocks shifting under your feet. Along the way, I met a dog walker; two couples enjoying a picnic lunch (they offered me grapes and chips); a woman stretching out either pre-, post- or maybe even mid-run; and a couple on a weekend getaway.
For the rest of the three-mile journey, I meandered alone, yet I was not alone. Almost immediately, I was greeted by the sounds of the creek rushing by. The water pulled me closer, and the sun shone brightly overhead. For just a moment, I stood amidst perfection (a sight I believe I had also experienced in a when I sat outside at my house last week, which leaves me wondering how often I MISS the perfection and beauty around me.)
I pulled out my cell phone – the one that so often pulls me away from what is truly important – and began snapping photos. Wow. There is something special about only seeing what is within the frame. The curve of a tree became a piece of art. The bark itself has patterns seldom noticed. The acorn shells littered the path.
For me on that day, perhaps it was the pops of color that I found the most intriguing. There were the red berries bracing themselves amidst the sea of drab winter brown. There was the green glass resting on the bottom of the creek. And, here and there, I saw wildflowers peeking out, reminding me that life begins again each spring.
Along each of the trails in Hot Springs Village, there are benches for people to rest on. Many are etched with the names of loved ones that have been honored or memorialized. When I came across the one in memory of Robin Lynn Megahan, I stopped. The Megahan family holds a special place in my heart. I’m sure they would tell me to cherish each moment I have with my sons, as sometimes the opportunity is snatched away. They have placed this bench in their daughter’s memory (as well as a scholarship at National Park Community College Foundation). I sat. I thanked God for the Megahans and for my own family. As I began to hear birds overhead, I soon found myself actually reclining on the bench. One bird flew past. Then another. And another.
I was at peace. For just a few moments, I inhaled. I exhaled. I experienced that life is more than the hustle and bustle so many of us live.
Next week, I’ll probably need the reminder again. But for right now, I am grateful for a community that values spending money on a trail system. I am grateful for a family that invests back in its family even in the midst of their own tragedy. I am grateful that there has been no tragedy in my own family, and that my family supported and continues to support me and my dream of All Things Arkansas. I am thankful for Spring. And I am thankful for those moments when I truly slow down.