Day 3 prompt:
Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors.) (Author, Ali Edwards)
If I am honest, the moment I felt most alive this year – or most aware of my “aliveness”, anyway – was when I was sitting with my grandma in the nursing home before she died.
But I’m not ready to write about that yet.
Instead I’ll write about the moment I stood at The Notch in Badlands National Park.
Many of the moments when I feel most alive happen in moments of awe and wonder at the God-given beauty of this orbiting chunk of rock we all live on. I’m such a fan of the National Park System. The 5 of us set off on The Notch trail in a windy, 104-degree heat. The hiking guide warns that this trail is not recommended for persons with a fear of heights.
I’m not actually a fan of heights.
But I really, really wanted to do this one. Off we went, and before long came to the ladder:
Going up wasn’t so bad. (But isn’t that always the way with ladders?)
Once up top, the trail wound through Badlands formations, getting really narrow at times. It was covered with small rocks that made it slippery. And it was so hot I can’t even describe. We didn’t bring enough water. I began to question my parenting skills, bringing the kids up here.
Matt helps Rafe through a tricky spot.
It was hot. It was dry. It was dusty. And everything was a monochromatic shade of tan. But once we reached The Notch, the view was totally worth it.
looking out over the White River Valley and Pine Ridge Reservation
An expanse of green still punctuated with those seemingly random rock formations… awe and wonder, as I said. We sat, and rested, and just took it all in. I think that’s why you feel most alive in moments like these, because you are in the moment.
Of course, we still had to go back. And the climb down the ladder was, in a word, scary.
But we made it. It’s funny how it seems so obvious to me at the time, how good just being in nature is for me. And we have plenty of beautiful little parks here, and even my parents’ farm fits the bill. But somehow I forget, once we’re back home and wrapped up in the day-to-day again.
Maybe a big sticky note to self will help?