at 3am we left under the cover of morning dark. life bending flat, brushing close to the ground. wilting tired from days long and nights somehow longer. this is precisely when vacation means more than sand and waves and souvenirs lost on the drive home; if you’re even lucky enough for them to last that long. the dates set aside for no work, the work I run to and find identity in and the work I feel chained to, seemed to rest ahead for weeks. the closer I got, the more I felt I needed time away, from work, from writing, from planning, from thinking about the next step; disconnect to rest, stretch and allow meandering thoughts to roam and echo with no worry of when they’d return with answer or solution. I knew our vacation held this type of rest when I packed my mountain bike. a week in the mountains of Colorado without a schedule to ream us in or rush us. just the four of us, me and the girls, visiting friends that feel more like family.
driving through the early morning dark, they slept warmly in the back seat of the car. I prayed for moments together, the kind that etch themselves on hearts‘ memory and last forever. I wanted to see breathtaking beauty, the kind that’s new and foreign, uncommon to everyday and them remember it. I felt like we needed it, the break together, the fresh breath, the change of pace.
as dark gave way to dawn, each girl began to wake to a new day. the sun casting gently on the mountains all around us, a sense of adventure freed us from the rut we settled in to. they shared hopes for the week ahead in the mountains. together, we explored Pikes Peak, Estes Park, the Rocky Mountains and plenty of other spots holding so much historied beauty. just the night before we left, after hiking through mountains, standing at waterfalls, being dwarfed by cliffs and feeling like we could touch the sky, Elizabeth, my oldest, popped open her heart deeper.
through warm tears, she shared the pain of her grief, hurts of today in seeing friends with their mothers and fears of tomorrow unknown. she just cried. she was letting go again. “thank God for these mountains,” I thought.
for what felt like an eternal day that I’d never leave, we talked through each pain, hurt and fear. and she let go.
...and that’s when remembered all over again that parenting is really just about being there.
we lived little adventures during our week in the mountains that will always be owned in our hearts. the laughs and jokes, the challenges of pushing through physically for miles just to spy a waterfall, the drives to peaks lifting us above all holding to us too tightly, they will always be remembered. my little girls who are stretching for what’s ahead and me wanting more, we all heard the whispering of tomorrow in the mountains together.
here’s to many more adventures in our lives leading us, stretching us, connecting us together. it’s my hope and prayer that in each day both regular and exhilarating, God would guide and I would listen.
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