It has been two years.
Two years of opening documents, typing out thoughts, putting them away, and deciding that it was not worth being posted. I also made lists of reasons why I don’t need to write. And then when I got itch to write, nothing seem to work.
Recently I read an article which main thrust was to “Write to express, not to impress” (Source). I was trying to emulate that which I read because it thought if I could emulated what impressed me I’d impress others. But thoughts got wrapped in style that nothing was expressed. So allow me to express myself through writing this little bit…
I spent the summer at a camp in Scott Valley just south of Yreka, CA surrounded with beautiful mountains and pine forest. I went there because I need a job, I enjoy camping, and I was trying to escape the summer heat of the Sacramento. My job entailed making sure what was green did not turn brown. And for the most part this meant moving sprinklers and handlines (30 foot long, 3 inch diameter aluminum pipes with a sprinkler one end and a latch on the other) around multiple times a day, digging ditches, and occasionally building a dam to divert water. Very different than my regular job, which was much appreciated. I had a job, worked at a camp, but I did not escape the heat.
The heat was not nearly as bad as Sacramento, but it was definitely more than I was expecting. I drank a lot a water (upward of two gallons by 5pm) as I spent my day moving around outside. But there was some thing that I always looked forward to…
A midday breeze.
A midday breeze was reminder. A reminder to pause what I was doing that moment. I would pause what I was doing and thanked God for the first thing that came to mind. A breeze was reminder that God is a provider and good no matter how my day was going. I would turn into the breeze and look around at the creation around me and thank God for the wonders that he had created. It keep me going; it reminded me what made me joyful.
I incorporated this practice into my job. It varied from school to school. But for the most part it was an exercise for students to pause and appreciate nature. So often students’ eyes are focused on the ground as hiking so they don’t trip, which is not wrong, but they miss so much around them. By using cues such as a breeze trains students to pause and look around them and engage. Something as simple as looking up around at the canopy as the morning light filters through.
For me, integrating cues such as pausing for a midday breeze is important to my daily schedule. It is a reminder to pray, to center my thoughts. It is easy to fall into slumps and become discontent with my life when blinded by the monotony of the daily routine. Cues reminds me to pray, to be thankful.