The wind stirs the trees, scattering mosquitoes from their buzzing bubbles and sending ripples of light across the lake. My kids run and leap after the old rope strung up in the cottonwood, left over from years past when the water was higher and you could launch yourself into it. Their voices are muted by space and air and wood and I find myself wishing we lived in the forest all the time.
Today my heart is not muted though. In fact it is very much loud and alive even though I am not moving. Just soaking it all in.
I’ve learned that there are many different ways to live a shallow life. Years ago it meant just sitting there, working, coming home, doing chores, sleeping and working again. Living as a slave to careers and “shoulds” and the status quo.
But there is a different kind of shallow that threatens our family now. We’ve become so accustomed to adventure, so inspired by the sheer number of truly awesome things we want to do in this life, that we forget to slow down and actually drink deep of it.
The other day I was out for a run on the trail that follows the river near our house. I know this trail, the branches that dip low, the sections that are buggy and where the ducks like to build their nests. I also know that a half-mile ahead is a drinking fountain and I am desperate for it.
Within minutes it comes into view, thank God. I dash over to the fountain, take a small sip, and because I am aware of my Garmin and my desire to pick up my pace a little, I take one small sip and dash away.
Two minutes later I am dying of thirst again. I am starting to overheat. I should have taken ten more seconds to drink deeper. Really, what is ten seconds?!
But many weeks I find myself like this with life. The trouble is there is just too much to explore on this great awesome planet! There is no way you could do it ALL in a lifetime. Many awesome friends, many epic hikes, inspiring climbs, fun races, good causes, gorgeous views, unique cities, crystal lakes.
I find myself grasping for that next adventure only to miss the one I am on!
And that is because while our life from one angle is a sum of what we do. Our life from another angle is a sum of what we truly open up our hearts to. And you cannot open your heart to something or someone if you don’t have the time for it.
You can do do do and only skim the surface. Only live shallow.
So I am trying to slow my spirit and drink deep. As my husband said the other night, “Let us not live shallow lives!”
Don’t live a shallow life.
Drink deep. In whatever way that means for you right now.