Brisk. That’s how I’d describe the day. There was a faint touch of cool that just about penetrated the skin, but it wasn’t cold enough to need a sweater, so I left it at home.
About an hour earlier, I climbed into the front seat with my family sitting cozily in the back. They were visiting from Texas, and my wife and I were showing them the mountains.
Our SUV started the trek up the hill. It was 26 miles to the top filled with winding roads and sharp drop offs that yielded stunning views.
Even though my family was in town to help us move into our new house, I knew what we had to do. We had to escape.
As we started the climb up the mountain, my mom started chiming in. “When will you fill that house with kids?” She was always pressuring us to have children but we weren’t ready. It wasn’t that we didn’t want kids, but we wanted to have them when the timing was right for us. Why couldn’t she understand that?
Mile marker five brought another common critique of our marriage – our finances.
We’d never asked her for money. We’d never even skimped on a birthday or Christmas gift. What made her think that we needed money was beyond me, but she did. My wife handled that blow well. She thanked her with grace but quickly changed the subject. Crisis averted.
The car was quiet for a few more minutes as we continued the journey upward. I couldn’t wait to get out into the fresh air and away for a few minutes to breathe.
At mile marker 14, I pulled onto an overlook. Windy point was the name, and it was true to that title.
As we opened up the car doors and poured out of the car looking like modern day circus clowns, the air hit me hard. The wind was delightfully refreshing. I opened the back of the car and took out our gear. I was going to show my family how to rappel today.
This excursion away from moving day might not seem like a likely event but for me it was necessary. I couldn’t stand to be cooped up with the critiques, remarks, and constant barrage of unsolicited advice. I needed fresh air. I needed to be among the trees!
After spending a few minutes getting strapped up and set up, the excursion began. Suddenly, no one remembered the to-do list back at the house. Instead, we were all free. We were all enjoying our time in the great outdoors while we made our way down the cliff and then back up to the top.
We put hours behind us performing these trust exercises and getting closer again. When it was time to head back down, I only had one thought…
… Why couldn’t we always be as happy and relaxed as we were when we were among the trees?