Thursday, April 1, 2010


"Restoration in progress. Please stay on the trail." The sign is mocking me a bit.

I drag myself to the local nature center, pay my obligatory $5 parking fee, and stroll through the various habitats with my notebook.

While the sounds of the freeway are in the distant background, and an occasional power line can be seen, this small oasis in the city has a calming effect on me. As perspective on life slowly comes back to me, I fear it won't last for long. Out there... is death, pain, chaos, busyness, deadlines, pressure, and so much noise. The noise. It takes a full 30 minutes until I am finally able to breathe, removing myself from the insanity of life.

So I sit here, waiting to be restored. The smell of sage, the ducks chasing each other, the falling seeds on my notebook, the trees - everything here says breath, live, restore. The life of the aquatic turtles is envious, the warm sun softly baking their shells, and a quick dip in the water for play. A reminder of a Maui vacation - ah, that is why it looks so familiar.

A couple walk past me, she comments, "the days go by much slower now." Having absolutely no context in which she said this, I could not even phantom a scenario in which could possibility allow my days to go by more slowly.

I have written before about "moments" and I do try desperately to live my life in those precious moments. With the craziness of late, these moments seem to appear less frequently, even though I wish for them more often.

I am not much of a trail hiker, more of a trailblazer. Admittedly, I want the challenge of the unknown, live to be the first, or best, or even the only - but that is another story. It isn't about competitiveness for me, it is about pushing myself.

But I am reminded in this moment that sometimes we have to stay on the trails in life for a while so the restoration can be in progress. Not really what my mind wants, but rather what my soul needs for this interval. Sometimes a trail can keep you from falling, damaging yourself even more, shielding you from predators, or simply gets you to the destination faster. Trails are often predictable and boring to me, but today the trail was peaceful.

"Restoration in progress. Please stay on the trail. Thank you."